Raleigh, N.C. — With more than 20,000 students enrolled for the fall semester, Wake Technical Community College reports that it is now the largest community college in North Carolina.
Administrators said a record 20,216 students arrived on the school’s five campuses Wednesday for the start of the semester.
Enrollment has increased more than 55 percent in the past five years, and more than 6,000 students are on waiting lists each semester for classes that are full.
"We joke about if we build it, they will come, and they continue to come," said Gayle Greene, vice president of the college's North Campus.
On that campus alone, which sits near the intersection of Interstate 540 and U.S. Highway 401, Greene expects to serve 8,000 students this fall – 10 percent more than last year.
"This lecture hall was just finished. There are 294 seats here, and already not enough seats for the faculty that work on North Campus," she said. "(Our newest classroom building) is already full. I am already out of office space. I have already turned closets into office space."
The college will request a $200 million bond referendum in November. If approved, the money will pay for new facilities and renovations to serve an additional 24,000 students.
Greene hopes to get three new buildings on North Campus.
The bonds will not result in a tax increase, administrators said.