Thursday, June 30, 2022

114 West Elm Street
Graham, NC 27253
Ph: 336.228.7851

ACC: suck it up

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The audacity of some public officials never ceases to amaze us.

Alamance Community College, which enjoys widespread support throughout the county, was rewarded by voters in 2018, who approved $39.6 million in a bond referendum for additional construction at the school.

Now come officials this week claiming they need $3.1 million more, an almost 8 percent increase beyond what the voters approved. And that’s just for the first two buildings, which means it’s more like a 15-20 percent increase above the budget.

Sorry, ACC trustees and administration officials, we’d have to suggest to you (and possibly ABSS school officials who got an even larger, $150 million bond referendum) that you’ll just need to suck it up and “make do” with the $39.6 million voters bestowed.

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ACC’s newest pitch for more money is predicated on the idea that certain facilities were portrayed as what would be funded by the bond money.

Well, that’s sort of true, although ACC has already modified some of the plans (from what was presented in 2018) to recognize some minimum degrees of economic reality.

So, now it’s time to return to the drawing board and engage in what the architectural consultants always refer to as “value engineering.”

That means trying to figure out what bells and whistles can be removed in order to trim the cost.

Maybe the size of one or more buildings won’t be as grandiose as ACC originally envisioned.

Maybe the soaring ceiling heights (why do government buildings always like high ceilings, which also add to energy costs?) will have to be reduced.

We imagine there are dozens, if not hundreds, of economies that can be taken.

But the community college, like all of government, needs to learn to live within its budget.

And a $39.6 million budget is a whale of a budget within which they certainly should be able to live.

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