The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

December 28, 2012

New campus

Breaking ground sooner than later is important for NRCTC and southern West Virginia

— Getting started on a new campus for New River Community and Technical College as quickly as possible is vital for growing higher education opportunities in southern West Virginia.

NRCTC has been showing marked increases in enrollment and has added several programs during the last few years.

But simply put, it needs facilities to support this growth.

Almost 15 months after breaking ground on a new central campus, New River Community and Technical College is still searching for a bid under the total construction budget of $14.5 million.

The school bid the project out for a second time several months ago and all bids still came in above their finances, according to Stephen Benson, vice president for finance and administration, adding the school is meeting with the lowest bidder for value engineering meetings, discussing different kinds of products and materials available in hopes of substituting quality materials at lower costs.

Several new programs are beginning at NRCTC, including occupational therapy, medical assisting and a future Registered Nursing program.

These are much-needed professions in our area.

And they’ll produce good-paying careers for the graduates.

We hope school officials can get the bidding and costs worked out soon so that work on the new Beaver campus can proceed as quickly as possible.

Education options in our region are improving dramatically.

NRCTC is showing promise, and could play a significant role in the development of our young people and our economy for many years to come.

That’s great for southern West Virginia.