Many helped with securing funding for Riverland
Gov. Pawlenty’s April 7 approval of the 2008 capital bonding bill included Higher Education Asset Preservation and Restoration (HEAPR) funding, which is used to repair and maintain college and university facilities. Riverland Community College was fortunate to receive $241.5 million for our Austin campus during a year in which state funding was scarce.
Riverland’s Austin West building, formerly the Austin Area Vocational Technical Institute, is approaching 40 years of age. Accordingly, the roof needs to be replaced. This year’s funding will pay to repair some of the building’s roof surface and will benefit our students, faculty, and staff by providing a safer, healthier environment in which to teach, learn, and work. We anticipate receiving an additional $242 million in the next funding cycle to complete this project.
None of this funding would be possible without the support of our local legislators. Special thanks to Sen. Dan Sparks and Rep. Jeanne Poppe for their leadership to obtain bipartisan support for this bonding request. Other local legislators, including Sen. Dick Day and Reps. Connie Ruth, Robin Brown, and Patty Fritz provided convincing support in the legislature. We especially appreciate the advocacy of our local Chamber of Commerce and Development Corporation of Austin officials.
I also thank the Austin Post-Bulletin for its consistently unbiased and accurate reporting on Riverland Community College’s activities. The newspaper helps area residents stay informed of the many programs and services available at their college. We are pleased to enjoy such strong community support while we seek to help meet the workforce and economic development needs of Austin and Mower County.