WACO (January 28, 2013)--While legislators in Austin consider cutting community college funding, McLennan Community College in Waco is looking at an option that could help the campus grow.
Dormitories and on-campus apartment style living is common at most major universities and MCC is considering a move toward a residential campus that could have students ditching the commute and joining college life full time.
“We see that as a niche we really don't have right now,” said MCC President Johnette McKowen.
For the past year, the school has been looking at how feasible a new dormitory or apartment complex would be.
So far, students seem to like the idea.
“I think that's really cool because most of the students are off base in Waco,” said Melga Pierce who lives in town with her husband.
Shannon Schisler, a psychology student who lives in Lacy Lakeview, said she would benefit from on campus housing.
"Transportation is a bit of an issue at the moment and it will be awesome if MCC offered some sort of student housing. That way you could walk to your classes. You know you live on campus and have total access to the (Learning Technology Center),” she said.
It's this kind of access school officials say could attract students from outside of Mclennan County, which is something the school could use.
McKowen says spring enrollment is down from what was reported in the fall.
McKowen has until September to present the MCC Board of Trustees with a recommendation.
She has to work out how much the project would cost and how to fund it, whether through revenue bonds or some other type of loan, as well as what on-campus residences would require in terms of security, maintenance, and student life activities.