RVC construction raises questions

RVC construction raises questions

By Susan J. Mireles

By Susan J. Mireles

RVC construction raises questions

The following letter was sent to the Rock Valley College Board of Trustees.

I have recently attended one of the Construction Update informational meetings and was disappointed to find out that the building plans currently under way do not include additional space for basic classrooms. Some statistics were provided at the meeting indicating credit hour production growth increased by 13 percent for spring and 25 percent for summer, which could not more directly communicate the need for additional instructional space. It is my opinion that too much money is being spent on areas other than academics, such as improving the outdoor peripheries (sports fields, bike paths, north entrance), increasing administrative personnel and constructing or remodeling currently unnecessary structures (i.e., support services building, student center, Bengt Sjostrom Theater, and the Arts Instructional Center). Why was the additional classroom building drawn on the architectural plans next to building CLI not included in your current building plans? Surely a referendum intended specifically for the construction of additional general classrooms could pass, if it is well communicated to the taxpaying community in advance, not to mention receiving state and federal grants.

I am not alone in my concern with the current direction of this college. My views are shared along with many friends, neighbors, classmates and teaching staff. Rock Valley College serves in a high growth corridor where many residents value higher education as key to their success and more importantly, their sustainability. Many students including myself, have experienced problems during enrollment where classes fill up within the first few days of registration, leaving little or no alternative course choices, thus delaying our education, or necessitating enrollment at another college. We find this frustrating that the college cannot serve our academic needs. We believe that RVC leaders are confused with their priorities. Art and sports entities are luxury items and should not replace science, mathematics, business and technology, the core learning areas demanded in our industrial community.

Why is Rock Valley College trying to be an “artsy” college in a community that is experiencing technological transition? It appears as if the college planners are trying to fulfill an extremely outdated art fantasy without paying attention to what is going on in the real world. As a former art major from the Chicago suburbs, I can understand the need to consolidate all arts-related classes under one roof, but to go beyond this and spend millions of dollars on auditoriums, theaters, art galleries, and an art-in-residence home which all currently exist in the Rockford metro area is irresponsible to the community as a whole. I will stress my point again; Rock Valley College needs additional classrooms for general academics such as science, mathematics, humanities and business. Do you see these problems, or is the smoke screen too thick from the artsy dreamers who had influenced you? Please realize that you can gain much more revenue by filling up classrooms than by building empty new theaters, sports fields and art galleries. Please reconsider the direction you are sending this college, because your result will be sending students and teachers elsewhere for a good education.

Your timely response would be appreciated.

Susan Mireless, of Poplar Grove, is an older student who has returned to college and is studying to be a teacher.

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