Parker says GTCC funding critical
With a growing enrollment and growing campuses, Guilford Technical Community College is facing perhaps the toughest budget in years, President Randy Parker told county commissioners attending a budget committee meeting this week.
Early next year, GTCC wants to open the Center for Business and Industry building on the new Cameron Campus at Oak Ridge. The campus will be the home for the $65 million N.C. Center for Global Logistics.
“We are at a critical point,” Parker said. “New facilities may not be opened unless the college receives its requested increase in funding.”
Parker asked commissioners for a $1.5 million operations increase and a $1.5 million repair and maintenance increase to bring the total budget contribution to $14.7 million. The requested operations budget increase is 12.6 percent.
“Much of this money goes into maintaining buildings and grounds and even for basic things like toilet paper,” Parker said. “We can’t use our state or federal funds for these expenses.”
GTCC serves 45,000 people a year at campuses in Jamestown, Greensboro and on S. Main Street, High Point. The new Cameron Campus is named for Donald Cameron, GTCC president emeritus.
Dealing with years of cutbacks, GTCC leaders have been watching expenses closely. Taking Fridays off during the summer is under consideration as another way to save money, Parker said.
“While experiencing growth of over 40 percent, our local funding has remained flat,” Parker said, “and we have absorbed $1.6 million annually.”
GTCC is the third largest community college in the state. But local funding has dropped from fifth to 19th in the state, Parker said.
“Our board may have to do something if we do not get this increase. We do not want to lose our momentum,” Parker said.
Construction: Voters passed a $47 million bond referendum in 2004 and a $75 million referendum in 2008 for the construction of several new
Needs: With a budget of $216 million, GTCC depends upon a $12 million
annual county contribution for many basic needs.