“If you have driven down the Emmett Lowry, you have seen all the goings-on,” she said.

Of course, she’s right. There are cranes popping up all over the landscape and concrete setting everywhere at College of the Mainland.

Carla Boone, dean of workforce and continuing education at our local center of learning, told about all the new things happening and the courses educating our community at a recent meeting of the La Marque Kiwanis Club.

She told about the biggest thing happening now, just east of the main campus, which is the STEAM building, where you can now see pipes jutting out of the foundation.

COM has added the A for art to the now familiar Science, Technology, Engineering and Math designations. Labs for STEM are functioning at local high schools.

This building will be four stories, Boone said, with the top one built out but unfinished, available for whatever classes come in the future.

And that’s one of the most interesting facts about our college.

They can design and implement training for any kind of a special group, fitting new employees to a new business, for instance

Now, and for many years, COM has been holding P-tech classes, training lots and lots of people to run all the facilities at the local refineries and chemical plants.

COM has traditionally met the needs of its people.

And that takes me back, along with some others who were around at that time, to the days when we were fighting hard to not only get a local college, but to get it on the mainland.

For a while, it looked like Galveston would be the only home. But mainlanders, including we who were at that time on the staff of the Texas City Sun, were hell bent to get a local campus.

Thank goodness we did. After a few bumps and bruises, they’re certainly living up to their name.

There are classes for those transferring to four-year schools, and all the core classes transfer 100 percent. There are classes which earn their graduates various certificates and diplomas, which allows them to get a good job. There are classes containing college and high school students simultaneously.

At College of the Mainland, the women outnumber the men 59 percent to 41 percent and the whites outnumber others at 47 percent white, 31 percent Hispanic and 16 percent black. There are 6 percent “others,” so I suppose there are some Asians in the mix.

The groups ages 18 to 24 makes up 40 percent. The ages 45 and older only total 3 percent, which surprises me because there are many seniors taking many fun, non-credit classes.

As one of those many who pushed for the creation of COM, I’m so happy that it all continues to work out well for all of us.

Drive down the highway and watch them grow.

Cathy Gillentine is a Daily News columnist. She may be reached at cathy.gillentine@comcast.net.

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(4) comments

Bailey Jones

I just finished reading a book about Claude Shannon - the genius who brought us the mathematical basis for the digital revolution. He was a scientist. But scientists write papers. To get science into the marketplace you need a whole train of people. Scientists make the breakthrough, engineers turn it into product designs, technicians, welders, machinists, etc, turn it into the stuff that you can buy and use, and marketers and business people figure out how to make it financially successful. You need all the cars on the train to make the economy run. I'm glad we have the College of the Mainland.

Michelle Aycoth

I especially like the higher taxes after the recent bond passage that add to an already high tax bill.

Andy Aycoth

Gary Scoggin

Drive by there and you’ll see where those taxes are going.

Jim Forsythe

The bind cost Interest and Sinking tax rate, which currently is zero because the college has no debt, would increase to .117 per $100 valuation/ Most if not all the increase is off set by the reduction in the past few year of the rate.

Sep 24, 2019

Trustees for College of the Mainland voted unanimously to adopt a new tax rate of 0.00204254 for fiscal year 2019. The new approved tax rate reflects a 4 percent decrease from the 2018 tax rate

College of the Mainland is one of only three community colleges in the state that has not increased its tax rate more than 2 percent throughout the last eight years.

COLLEGE OF THE MAINLAND adopts a 2016 tax rate equal to the effective tax rate of $0.208376 per $100 of value

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