The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

March 21, 2013

Senate panel OKs consolidation

The Senate Education Committee has passed a bill that would consolidate Bridgemont Community and Technical College in Montgomery with its down-river neighbor in South Charleston, Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College.

There are still several more hurdles for Senate Bill 438 to clear, but the current bill aims to merge the schools as of July 1, a date in line with the new fiscal year.

Proponents say the merger would increase efficiency and academic opportunity at the institutions, but some worry that this could be a first step in the closure of Bridgemont’s Montgomery campus.

Next Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee will weigh in, based on the bill’s budgetary implications. If it passes there, it will move forward to the Senate floor before bouncing over to the House side.

The bill, as presently written, would abolish both schools’ boards of governors and establish a new one composed of former members. It gives the new body one year to reorganize, with the help of an administrative planning committee.

They will select one of the presidents of the two institutions to serve as the new leader. Presumably, this would be Bridgemont President Jo Harris, since Kanawha Valley’s president, Dr. Joseph Badgley, announced his retirement last December.

In an e-mail to faculty this week, Harris says she has received “positive feedback” and is “pleased with the progress” of the bill to date.

She writes that her main message to Fayette County’s legislators is “how this reorganization will enhance our ability to offer more academic programs and more course sections for our students through two campuses and the use of technology, greater coordination of the workforce efforts, a larger number of students to consider Tech for a two-plus-two program, and the opportunity for us to help establish a premier multi-campus institution for the entire region.”

Harris says she will not be scheduling an open community forum on the proposal, but has offered one-on-one appointments with any interested community member.

The bill states that by the end of this year, the new board of governors would determine which, if any, current positions that exist at both colleges would be done away with.

The primary sponsors of the bill are Sen. Robert H. Plymale, D-Wayne, and Erik Wells and Brooks McCabe, both D-Kanawha.

It can be tracked at http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Status/bill_status.cfm.

— E-mail: cmoore@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Manchin says mines should speak out about coal

    The Democratic senator leading the battle against the White House’s strategy to fight climate change urged the mining industry on Tuesday to speak out about coal’s role in providing affordable, reliable electricity to the country to help combat strict new emissions rules for coal-fired power plants.

    April 16, 2014

  • Raleigh’s $19.6 million budget approved at special meeting

    Raleigh County’s $19.6 million budget for fiscal year 2014-15 is on the books. The budget and the levy rate were approved at a special county commission meeting Tuesday morning.

    April 16, 2014

  • Rainelle Town Council pulls plans to annex roads

    Residents of several communities in Greenbrier County can rest assured they won’t be affected by a proposed road annexation after Rainelle Town Council decided not to move forward with the plan.

    April 16, 2014

  • Calendar — Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    April 16, 2014

  • City and county code enforcement offices separate

    After 10 years of partnership, the City of Beckley and the Raleigh County Code Enforcement offices have decided to part ways.
    Mayor Bill O’Brien said after several meetings with county commissioners, the groups decided to separate.

    April 16, 2014

  • Learn about advance directives at RGH

    Today is National Healthcare Decisions Day and personnel will be available at Raleigh General Hospital from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to anyone interested in learning more about advance directives or who are ready to prepare them at no cost.

    April 16, 2014

  • Greenbrier Valley Famer’s market to open

    The Greenbrier Valley Farmers Market will be opening for the 2014 season Saturday at its “green space” on the corner of Arbuckle Lane and U.S. 219 in downtown Lewisburg.

    April 16, 2014

  • Oak Hill council discusses vacant buildings

    Oak Hill City Council met in regular session Monday to talk ordinance adoption and smoking issues reported in Oak Hill City Park, which was an issue recently raised to Oak Hill City Manager Bill Hannabass.

    April 16, 2014

  • Beckley’s emergency preparedness efforts still ongoing

    Although the City of Beckley Director of Emergency Services position was eliminated two months ago, the county is continuing Kevin Taylor’s emergency preparedness efforts.

    April 16, 2014

  • Old GHS building may get new life

    A Ronceverte school building that was shuttered by consolidation in 1992 may find new life as apartments for senior citizens, if plans floated by a Kentucky development firm come to fruition.

    April 16, 2014

AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide