THE STORY OF A GULF COAST COLLEGE IN TEXAS CITY, TEXAS . . .
The College of the Mainland (COM) opened its doors in 1966 when voters approved a $2.8 million bond measure. This was a momentous decision 30+ years in the making. Based on his relevant experience with opening new college campuses, Harry Stallworth was selected to lead COM during its opening days. By 1970, the college had successfully constructed the Administration Building, Learning Resource Center, Math and Science Building, and Technical and Vocational Building; so COM was able to move to permanent quarters from its temporary location. Shortly thereafter, a second phase of construction was approved to create the Physical Education Building, Fine Arts Building and Student Center. Since that time, only a few buildings have been added to COM’s main campus such as the Industrial Education and Welding Buildings (1991) and Public Service Careers Building (1999).
Several meetings were conducted with campus personnel and students. The meetings were critical in understanding campus physical and operational challenges, as well as providing insight into student and faculty needs and demands. A questionnaire was distributed to every faculty member prior to the meetings. The meetings included a general faculty briefing, numerous visioning sessions concerning COM and various departments, student success and services meetings, and several meetings with students.
College of the Mainland
THE MASTER PLANNING PROCESS
Creating a comprehensive master plan for College of the Mainland (COM) was a highly collaborative process. It requires a significant time commitment from all stakeholders. Stakeholders were intentionally selected from a diverse cross-section of college constituent groups: board members, administrators, faculty and community members, area businesses, municipalities and economic development entities; and, of course - students. Each group shared their needs, discussed possible program offerings, and made projections for growth. Having each group contribute and share their vision(s) for COM is the right way to ensure the master plan effectively addresses both present and future stakeholder expectations.
The College of the Mainland Plan to Advance Student Success (COMPASS) is designed to be a strategic road map for the physical development of the college’s campus over the next 10 years. The plan includes recommendations on program offerings based on the labor market needs of the Texas Gulf Coast and beyond. COMPASS will serve as a valuable, fact-based planning tool for future facility-related decision making. The results will be used to assist the college in determining where to focus and invest in terms of facilities and infrastructure. This is a very important step in guiding the college to realize the rewarding outcomes of its mission, purpose, core values and goals in meaningful and tangible ways – delivered in the form of facilities, learning environments, programs, opportunities and results.
In September 2015, College of the Mainland engaged PBK to assist them with the development of this master plan. The plan is a direct result of this process involving numerous meetings, analysis and development of multiple scenarios in order to arrive at a plan to serve the college for years to come. This multi-component initiative includes a facilities assessment and preventative maintenance study, demographics study, space utilization study, as well as the physical master plan development.
In order to accomplish the task, a steering committee was formed to vet findings as they became available. The committee met monthly to review findings and help keep the process on task and on schedule. With a system-wide perspective, feedback received from the steering committee provided important direction and course corrections for the planning team.
Having just celebrated 50+ great years of service to its region, the College of the Mainland (COM) remains relatively young compared to many college and university campuses across Texas. But since its inception in 1966 and the rolling out of an initial master plan, the main campus’ infrastructure and most original facilities have remained mostly unchanged. The college has conducted four significant building projects in 40+ years. Accordingly, the college began an intensive master planning process in the summer of 2015 that included the following assignments: Demographics Study, Utilization Study, Facilities Assessment, Faculty Surveys, and comprehensive Campus Master Planning.
CAMPUS FLYTHROUGH ANIMATION
2025 Plan to Advance Student Success
Members of PBK’s facilities team conducted a comprehensive physical assessment by walking every square foot of COM’s main campus. Specific assessment specialists included civil engineers, MEP engineers, building envelope specialists, and architectural designers. The walk-throughs enabled the design team to get a better understanding of the physical condition of COM’s main campus infrastructure and facilities. The team assessed and developed a time frame for the correction of critical life-safety measures (priority), as well as other, longer term work items that could eventually pose a maintenance risk for COM. These efforts represent the beginning of a preventative maintenance plan and budget for COM.
The assessment team compiled all data into a database that includes all work items (classified and prioritized), as well as cost estimates to make corrections. Photographs of work items are included in the report. As part of the process, the assessment team updated computer-generated drawings of existing campus floor and site plans so they are current and accurate.
Click here to see the Facilities Assessment Report given to the College.
Click here to see the master plan book presented to the College.