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-Put down the gloves; move on

Opinion-Put down the gloves; move on

road-blockEdward Bass is at it again.

The Fort Worth billionaire has sunk his teeth into the plans of TCC’s downtown campus—and he doesn’t want to let go.

The college had gone through three years of planning, preparation and then the beginning of construction on the new campus, when Bass, whose office and retail investments border the new campus, announced he did not like the design. He demanded that TCC scrap the original plan and cater to his vision.

Bass suggested we raise the proposed sunken plaza to ground level, make it an open area for everyone in downtown to use and cancel the plan that involves tunneling under Belknap Street.

This idea was not feasible for many reasons, but most importantly, it compromised the original design, would cost tens of millions of dollars and would delay opening of the campus by 12-18 months.

Bass must have had his friends and employees working overtime to lobby support for his cause, and through Downtown Fort Worth Inc., of which Bass is a member, sponsored a workshop where architects from around the U.S. were brought in to evaluate the current design and offer suggestions for improvement.

It is estimated $27,000 was spent on the event and in compensation to the visiting architects. Not surprisingly, they suggested exactly what Bass wanted.

The TCC board entertained the suggestions but ultimately decided that raising the plaza to ground level was not in the best interest of the college.

Bass issued a strong statement through his publicist the next morning. He attempted to belittle the board but succeeded in making himself look petty.

Just when it looked like the fight was over, Bass is coming at TCC again through a roundabout way.
Bill Boecker is a member of the Design Review Board for Fort Worth, from which TCC needs approval of design.

Boecker also is the vice president and chief executive of Fine Line Diversified Development, the development company of Ed Bass. Boecker voiced his opposition to the TCC design and brought up several specific concerns with TCC, which the college agreed to address.

Then last week he criticized the college for not answering those concerns at the September board meeting.
David Wells, vice chancellor in charge of building the new campus, said college officials want to get all the correct information before appearing again before the board.

When TCC representatives did not return to the September meeting, Boecker admonished them.

J.D. Granger, a fellow board member and staunch supporter of the new downtown campus, told Boecker it would have been impossible for the college to meet the request in time for the September meeting.

Bass’ demands have received more airtime than they warranted because of his clout in the community.
The TCC board announced its decision in July, and it is time for Ed Bass to take on other battles.

TCC made the right decision in keeping its original design, Bass has interfered with and insulted the board and the college long enough.

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