Local News

Slow economy spurs need for third Wake Tech campus

Posted June 10, 2008

— The slowing economy is one reason Wake Technical Community College officials are pushing to open a third campus.

The Morrisville Board of Commissioners was expected to review a proposal Tuesday night to rezone 76 acres for a Wake Tech campus. A final decision would come later in June.

"We have found that when unemployment goes up by 1 percent, our enrollment will go up by 4 percent," Wake Tech President Stephen Scott said. "People come back (to school). Either they've lost a job or they're afraid that they might, (and) they want to get the latest skills and technology they possibly can."

Wake Tech's enrollment has grown from about 52,000 in 2004-05 to about 59,000 this year, according to North Carolina Community College System figures.

The college opened its second campus off Louisburg Road near Interstate 540 in northeast Raleigh last year to cater to the growing enrollment and limit the commute for area residents who live in the northern part of the county.

A Morrisville campus would save money for prospective students who live in western Wake County, officials said.

"I've got a chart at home that says I've got to work this many hours (and) wait this many tables to get gas money to drive to school every day," Wake Tech student Iain Henderson said.

A bond approved by Wake County voters would cover the cost of buying the land in Morrisville for a college campus, but state and local officials haven't set aside any money yet for construction.


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  • SheriffTruman Jun 11, 2008

    Considering how many classes at Wake Tech are actual technical classes it makes sense to have a physical building. Kind of hard to learn to weld, solder electronics, work on the machines and assembly line that put electronics together, repair cars, repair computers, install plumbing, electrical, etc, etc, etc over the internet. Surely you want people knowlegeable in these areas to build your houses, keep your car in shape and your computer running? Or do we want to outsource that stuff also?

    I am pretty conservative, but man, it is amazing that people are so against anything in this area. Now I know why we will always be podunk. We are so selfish that we want it all and we don't want to pay for it. In my opinion, cut the fdederal government all day, but spend the tax money on local stuff so it helps US!

  • coolwill Jun 11, 2008

    Coolwill did not say run another bond, what i said is the bond that passed was for the construction of the north Raleigh Louisburg road community college (that I did not vote on). In my understanding the bond was not to be used to build a totally different college elsewhere, and that this county and the city are taking your money and changing the rules. I can not believe that every bond always get pasted by the people, I think some ones hand is in the pushing it through. By the way if they offer more long distance learning it would help the student grow more in this computer age. Sure they would still have to attend labs on campus, but I don't think building another building while every one is struggling to make end meet is stupid. This local government and state is in a spend mode that can only get worse. Look at the convention center even with the huge price tag; they are talking about raising taxes to staff the place. What they say the bill or bond is for usually onl

  • bs101fly Jun 10, 2008

    the dumbing down of America. When things get bad, build more 1/2 rump schools and educate them to skin chicken!

  • kikinc Jun 10, 2008

    Personally, I hate distance ed. I took one course like that at State and I will never do it. Granted, it's okay for general courses, but for major courses, you need to be in the classroom. I'd rather my tax dollars go towards education than some of the other things that it's gone to, like 540, which is inevitably going to be a toll road.

  • whatelseisnew Jun 10, 2008


    If a given student did not have the technology needed, it would be far cheaper to provide it, free of charge to those students, than it would be to build and operate another campus. Coolwill says run another bond. Sure just what we need in hard economic times, more debt. I am involved in distance learning, and it is done and delivered globally. Some of it is self-study, and some of it is instructor led. The savings in staff, travel, and actual cost of delivery of this education is absolutely amazing. We should not only be doing this at the Community College level, we should be doing this at the high school level as well. I realize that some courses do require lab facilities and actual face to face time with a teacher, but I think we can be doing far more of this, and not only save taxpayers money, but save the students and teachers money all at the same time.

  • sst100 Jun 10, 2008


    Certainly there are some classes that meet your description and can be offered distance ed. 1/3 of the students at my community college take at least one distance class and I have taught several distance ed courses. While you may think they are "just as effective", often they are not because students may not have the technology or the academic skills needed for this type of learning. Let's try one stat to show you the need these schools provide- 2/3 of the nurses in NC come from the community college system. While I understand the tax issues that come along with expanding schools, I also know our graduates get jobs and pay taxes immediately upon graduation. It is a sound investment.

  • cmackethan Jun 10, 2008

    So with the big 1.5% raise for community college instructors, I'm sure they'll be able to staff this third campus!!!

  • coolwill Jun 10, 2008

    A bond approved by Wake County voters would cover the cost of buying the land in Morrisville for a college campus, but state and local officials haven't set aside any money yet for construction. Wasn’t the bond for wake tech on Louisburg road in north Raleigh which I did not vote on? Stop voting for theses bonds, this county is taking your money and changing the rules.

  • OpinionOnEverything Jun 10, 2008

    Sign me up for classes!

  • colliedave Jun 10, 2008

    and what has happened to construction costs?