MCC shows signs it is on the grow

Monday, January 17, 2005

If you've been to McCook Community College lately, you know how tough it can be to find a parking place. At peak class periods during the day and early evening, students and instructors sometimes have to park several blocks away, lining the streets in the residential areas around the college.

It's not a problem which can be solved quickly, but the college is moving in the right direction with plans to acquire two houses across the street south of McMillen Hall and the von Riesen Library.

If the McCook City Council gives approval to the plan tonight, the college will purchase the two properties, tear the houses down and put in a parking lot. The proposal calls for a privacy fence and lighting on the south, plus paving of the lots with concrete. Each lot will be able to accommodate 14 cars, giving the college 28 urgently needed additional spaces.

The parking area will be on the south side of East L Street, between East Third and East Fourth Streets. The properties to be purchased are at 1111 East Third and 1112 East Fourth.

This is an important step as the college embarks on a new era of expansion. There had been talk of using Weiland Field for college growth, but that did not meet with public favor because of the community's attachment to the stadium, which is affectionately called "The Bowl."

The parking lot to the south is not the only way the college is on the move. Projects are also ongoing on campus. The student union, located on the southeast corner of Weiland Field, has been remodeled, making it more accessible for students. The college maintenance staff has created a rolltop design, allowing the kitchen to be closed off when not in use.

Additional projects are upcoming in the von Riesen Library and the Wrightstone Building. The basement of the library will be renovated to create a "Memorabilia Room" and an area for teaching Adult Basic Education.

At Wrightstone, ceramic and sculpture spaces will be moved, creating room for the college's new graphic design program.

With additional programs, the college will need to find classroom and parking space to accomodate students. The parking spaces to the south are a good first step. And, hopefully, as time passes more nearby property can be acquired for further college expansion.

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