On Tuesday, August 6, 2019, at the ribbon cutting for the North Forest Campus, the Chancellor was being criticized for the poor design and construction of the campus. The opening of the North Forest Campus was two years late and over budget. Like most government projects in minority neighborhoods, it was over promised, and under built, which was pointed out repeatedly with speeches from community leaders, precinct chairs, a state representative, and Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee. HCC Trustee Dave Wilson, whose district the campus is located, refused to sit on stage with the Chancellor, and refused to deliver a speech, because he was embarrassed at the poor product constructed for his constituents.
In addition to such a poor construction project, the furniture, fixtures, and equipment for the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC programs were not ordered. Therefore, there are no electrical, plumbing, and HVAC classes scheduled for this fall. This campus is suffering from low enrollment because of construction delays.
In her speech, Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee thanked Mr. Wilson for his work in making the North Forest Campus a reality. Congresswoman Lee went on to praise Mr. Wilson for sharing information with the community, and keeping the community informed.
It is no secret that Mr. Wilson is not a fan of the Chancellor’s leadership skills and has asked for his resignation. Regretfully the Chancellor is manipulating an employee and pressuring the HCC Police Department to try and discredit Mr. Wilson as a strategy he has used on previous occasions. It is unfortunate that this employee and the HCC Police Department are caught in the middle.
There were 500 students at North Forest before construction started on the campus and now we have 40 students spread over 110,000 square feet of building space. Enrollment, system wide, has declined 15% from 2011 to 2019. The other three community colleges in Harris county have increased in enrollment. When will the Board take positive action to save our College? We don’t want to end up like HISD.