ST. PAUL -- Even as they hold out hope for a legislative solution, officials for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system are moving forward with a plan to close Anoka-Hennepin Technical College.
Trustees effectively decided on an 11-2 vote Tuesday to shut down one of MnSCU's 36 campuses by summer 2002, unless the Legislature provides funding to keep it open. The board planned to take a final look at the closure plan today, a step that is largely a formality.
''We're probably going to move ahead with some of our transitional stuff almost immediately,'' said MnSCU Chancellor Morrie Anderson, who supports the decision.
Faced with a maintenance backlog of up to $30 million, trustees decided it would be more economical to shut down Anoka-Hennepin than to fix it. It marks MnSCU's first campus closure since the system took shape five years ago with the merger of Minnesota's community colleges, technical colleges and state universities.
Rep. Jim Abeler, R-Anoka, and Sen. Leo Foley, DFL-Coon Rapids, plan to introduce legislation this session to provide $14.7 million to repair the aging facility and would require the MnSCU system to continue operating it.
But Anderson is skeptical.
''If we just throw money at the institution and mandate that we keep it open in its current format, I don't think we've done anything to improve the educational outcomes for anyone who would attend that campus in the future,'' Anderson said.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.