A downtown innovation hub, campus improvements, and more are part of the Amarillo College master plan. As voters head to the polls beginning Monday to decide a bond proposal, we take a look at what is included in the plan, for which the bond would fund at least some of the included projects.
According to the master plan presentation from Amarillo College, an innovation hub is one of the cornerstones of the school’s master plan, which sparked the $89.2 million bond issue for the district on the May 4 ballot. The innovation hub, according to artist renderings, appears to take up a large portion of the north end of the Amarillo College downtown campus and Amarillo Senior Citizens’ Association center in downtown Amarillo.
Some involved with the Amarillo Senior Citizens’ Association have expressed concerns on social media about what the passage of the bond could mean for the organization, both in possible loss of facility space and revenue. However, the master plan for the school suggests the project could be beneficial for surrounding neighborhoods, claiming that the innovation hub would provide a neighborhood economic impact of $425,000 annually.
Other major projects in the Amarillo College master plan includes HVAC issues, renovations, a proposed fire academy building, an outdoor plaza with seating, landscaping, and an amphitheater and more.
The master plan was developed during an eight-month process and is the catalyst for the Amarillo College bond election on the May 4 ballot. Amarillo College regents voted unanimously in February to send this measure to the ballot, which was trimmed to $89.2 million from the original price tag. It is not clear exactly which items are included in the bond, but regents said the items from the master plan would be those included in the bond.
Voters will decide this contest on May 4. Early voting will run from April 22-30.
For more information on the bond, voters are encouraged to tune into Sunday night’s edition of Dan Butcher’s HP Pundit podcast.