The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Opinion-Kudos to board’s design stance

Opinion-Kudos to board’s design stance

downtowncampusTCC board members made the right decision to stick with the downtown campus’ original design.

After three years of trials and tribulations in building the campus, the board of trustees faced a new dilemma—an unwarranted opposition to the campus plaza design.

The Sundance Square Inc. “workshop” was a farce. The architects said exactly what Ed Bass, Fort Worth businessman and design opponent, wanted: the plaza should be raised to ground level to make it more accessible to the public.

What they seemingly failed to consider is that TCC should have neither the desire nor the responsibility to create a gathering place for people who are not students or employees of the college.

The board considered the recommendations produced at the workshop and held its own open meetings, allowing the public to voice their opinions on the subject.

Bass gave the longest speech at TCC’s stakeholder meeting, belittling the vision of the project and referring to the plaza design as “an acre of cement stairs.”

But this plaza has been brilliantly designed to accommodate a very difficult piece of property. Loud and fast-moving traffic passes on two sides of the plaza, and the area has no restaurants or shops.

Architect Bing Thom’s design is not only aesthetically appealing, but also innovative and exciting.

The sunken design takes visitors out of the traffic and into the campus and its serene flowing water and greenery.

TCC had many compelling reasons to proceed with the original design.

Forget the fact that construction is already under way and that the time to discuss serious changes would have been three years ago when the TCC board began holding meetings about the new campus.

Forget that it would cost TCC untold millions of dollars and delay the opening of the campus by 12-18 months. Not to mention, TCC would have to give up a crucial area of the property for public use, inviting people onto campus who have no business there.

And even forget the fact that the Star-Telegram reported two of the architects who participated in the workshop were fraught with controversy and had projects running three or more years behind schedule and hundreds-of-millions of dollars over budget.

The most compelling reason to proceed was that Thom’s design is brilliant. It is infinitely superior to any plan proposed by the visiting architects.

Although $297 million is a lot of money for TCC to spend on a new campus, this will change the way people look at TCC and maybe at community colleges in general.

It will be a shining new addition to our downtown community, and something we can all be proud of. It will be here for many generations to enjoy, and because the board is paying for the land and construction in cash, the district won’t be paying interest on property loans when we are all long gone.

It is difficult to understand why Bass tried to hijack the design of the new campus when he certainly has enough money to build 10 downtown plazas of his own if he so desires.

We should be proud that our board had the courage and integrity to withstand the pressure and do what was right for TCC.

They made the right decision.

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