Students Finally Say Yes to JBK Expansion Students at West Texas A&M University finally said yes to an expansion at the Jack B. Kelley Student Center (JBK) in a referendum vote Oct. 6-7 on campus. The University will now take the proposal to The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents for approval.
WTAMU students voted online or at campus kiosks to decide whether the Student Center Complex fee should be increased for an expansion at the JBK. In the vote for the expansion, 630 students voted yes and 527 voted no. The vote marks the second attempt at getting the referendum passed. In November 2008, WTAMU students voted no to the expansion and the $3 student fee increase, but this week’s vote not only got the student’s approval, but also one for a $5 student fee increase from $3 to $8 per credit hour.
“The students were either going to vote yes or no on the issue, and many in student government felt that a few dollars increase in student fees wouldn’t make a difference in how the student body voted,” Dr. Don Albrecht, vice president for student affairs, said. “They were right, and we appreciate our students taking an active role in the decision process. Our increase in student enrollment makes the need for this expansion even more critical and will help us better serve our students.”
The fee increase proposal will go before The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents at its March 2010 meeting. If the proposal is approved by the board, the WTAMU Student Center Complex fee will go from $3 per semester credit hour to $8 per hour beginning in fall 2010. The increased fee would pay for the estimated $10M construction cost to complete the project.
Plans for the JBK expansion include additional meeting rooms, a multi-purpose room, additional food service areas, study spaces, a catering kitchen and student lounge. The new plans also call for a full basement to house much of the building’s mechanical equipment as well as provide room to expand as the campus continues to grow.