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City should help Gaston College

The Lincolnton City Council seems reluctant to honor Gaston College’s request for help with funding an expansion of the Lincoln Campus. Their reasoning, apparently, is that some bureaucrat in Raleigh told them cities aren’t supposed to help with school building projects. It’s interesting to note that when an important need is identified in Lincolnton we rely on some out-of-town authority to tell us what to do.
Gaston College is seeking a total $1.97 million to construct a new building at the Lincoln Campus and renovate space in the existing building
The project will accommodate the exploding student growth and allow the college to offer the complete Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees and expand health science offerings.
College officials on Thursday asked the city of Lincolnton to fund $250,000 over a two-year period, but the council would not commit to the money. Concerns were voiced about the city getting into school construction projects. and the request was put on a back burner for further review.
The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners made their commitment, pledging to give the college $750,000 over two years.
Funding for this project is important because of the critical role this school is playing here in Lincoln County. Today many, many people are without jobs or are hanging onto whatever temp labor they can find. Because of the big decline in manufacturing jobs, the only choice for these workers is to retrain and seek new types of work.
The new addition proposed for the Lincoln Campus opens up more classroom space for area residents who need this training for this difficult job environment. It’s often very important that they have a place close by because they may have home duties or have time restraints because of part-time jobs.
We don’t expect the city to get into the business of building schools. That never has been a function of city government. We do expect the city to listen when an important community institution seeks help in accomplishing a mission that is extremely important in this day and time for the people of Lincolnton and Lincoln County.

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