I do not denigrate Bridgemont, but its creation really hurt Tech because it carved out of Tech's student body a much greater proportion of students than the other state colleges lost in the birth of the community college system.
There are many other reasons for Tech's decline in enrollment: loss of mining jobs, lack of local students qualified to take science courses, a local area decimated of proper housing and the demise of Union Carbide.
Phillips has stated that the Revitalization Committee has adopted the "Sightlines" report. WVU commissioned that report to review the needs of Tech for its buildings and grounds. It was completed in May 2011. Senate Bill 486 was not introduced until February 2011. The subcommittee that made the first analysis did not meet until July or August 2011.
The Sightlines report is not a specific engineering project but an analysis of buildings and grounds. They did an excellent outline of the needs of the campus to improve the students' lifestyle.
The Curris Report did more harm than good for Tech. Its investigation was minimal at best. Tech has been studied to death. It needs to have the Legislature properly fund it.
The "Take back Tech" group should quit criticizing and let the Committee do its work. It will be up to our senators and delegates to present Tech's case to the Legislature.
The Higher Education Policy Commission is on the right path. If its recommendations are funded by the Legislature, we will benefit from the future leaders that Tech has created in the past and will create in the future. Funding, not fighting, should be our number one priority.
Billheimer is a retired lawyer, Tech graduate and president of the Tech Foundation.