The Rock Valley College Board of Trustees approved an increase in the budget for its new Belvidere campus amid opposition from several Rockford community leaders.
Opponents of the Belvidere location of Rock Valley College’s new Advanced Technology Center are calling on the Board of Trustees to postpone any budget increases until more studies can be done.
Patrick Murphy, a chairperson on the board, read a letter from Women’s March Rockford stating that the Belvidere location only contributes to inequity in the region.
“WMR respectfully asks for a comprehensive study on the cost savings of the Belvidere location inclusive of student transportation costs and increased build out costs,” said Murphy.
Murphy commented that public concerns about the project going over budget were unwarranted. He said it was still below budget. The project for the new center was originally billed at $3.3 million. The vote increased the available funds to close to $8 million. However, that’s still only half of the total amount allocated by the board for the project altogether.
In an email to residents Paul Gorski, another member of the board, said they understood the disappointment around the Belvidere site but that, “we are better off as a community with the ATC in Boone County than with no ATC at all.”
- Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco is a 2020 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project which is a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms.