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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
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January 23, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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January 23, 1997
 

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32 Thursday, January 23, 1997 Pahrump Valley Gazette Task Force to address Pahrump's higher education future by Doug McMurdo Gazette staff PAHRUMP - The Pahrump Town Board held a special meeting Saturday, January 18, primarily to discuss the possibility of building a Community College of Southern Nevada (CCSN) facility on the site of Pahrump Valley High School. Pahrump is not the only rural Nevada community lobbying for a campus so "a sense of urgency" exists which com- pelled the special meeting. A task force will be impaneled as soon as possible to spear- head the drive. Assemblyman Roy Neighbors is said to be "very supportive" of the idea and informed town manager Scott Neilson to "have the board decide on the desired allocation" and he will draft a bill. The proposed facility will total approximately 16,000 square feet at a cost of $3 million. Annual operating cost will approximate $300,000. Building the facility on the grounds of Pahrump Valley High School would cre- ate a "win-win" situation for Pahrump. Current high school students can use the campus during the day (taking advantage of the more up-to-date computer equipment) while adults could utilize it in the late afternoon and evening hours. Additionally, building the campus with a "time- share" philosophy is much more frugal than to build a separate facility. PVHS Principal Jerry Hill addressed the board and shared some serious concerns he has regarding the future of our children's education in Nye County. Describing Nye County School District as "a hurting school district, " Hill explained students are currently required to take computer literacy courses using out- dated, obsolete equipment that does nothing to prepare students for the reality of current technological advances. Despite the problems facing the NCSD, and the obvious benefit a CCSN campus would provide, Hill stated his belief that Pahrump is "a growing community with a great future." Town Board member Bob Little asked Hill if PVHS had the room on site to build the campus. Hill assured him that space would be found. Little also asked if it is mandatory to build on the site of PVHS. The consensus of the board and CCSN is the site needs to be as near the school as possible. This would coincide with the current program occurring in Clark County. The greatest benefit a CCSN facility would bring to Nye County will occur in approximately two years when the school population will exceed 1,200 students if the cur- rent 20 percent student growth rates hold steady. Town Board member Steve Rainbolt said it would be "politically wise" to promote the idea of an on campus site for the facility, citing there is plenty of land available by the town or school district. Mem- ber Gary Hollis urged the town to "get moving" on the project. CCSN student and local activist Sally Devlin reminded board members of the almost $1 million dollars Pahrump pays to the state in ad valorem taxes annually. Devlin, angry at the snubbing of Pahrump by state officials, says that Reno is getting "another community college, even .... when student enrollment is declin- ing." Acknowledging Pahrump has no real political clout, the need to play "political hardball" is evident. According to Little, who voiced objections to the task force and "government by committee" re- minded members of the urgency and implored moving forward quickly. The task force will consist of nine members, town attorney Len Smith; town manager Scott Neilson; town clerk Chartie Gronda; a member of the NCSD senior administration; and several citizens at large. Interested citizens are encouraged to contact Neilson and inform him of your interest. Prominent Pahnmap resident and former assemblyman Tim Hafen was unofficially named as an example of the caliber of person this task force will need in order to succeed. Charles HoUis, who says he owns Valley Auto Parts, resented the fact that tbe task force wiU consist of so many "politicians" and not enough citizens. Rainbolt expressed dismay at Hollis' comment saying, "I thought we're all in this together." Rainbolt was taken aback by Hollis' com- ment since the issue is obviously non-political. Resident John Pritchard perhaps said it best when he approached the podium to speak, saying, "We're not here to raise taxes, take your land or water, we're here to Pemmde the state to build us a college" It's silly to fight among ourselves." The motion to form the tempora W task force passed 5-0. For those interested in send- ing letters of support to our state representatives, it was suggested that citi- :zens write our State Rep- resentativestovoicesup- port for this project.The following is provided for that purpose: Asmnl,lr Roy Neighbors P.O. Box 33 Tonolmh, Nevada 8904941033 Senate Mike McGinness 770 Wildes Road Faam, Nevada 89046-7843 PRELIMINARY FLOOR PLAN CCSN RURAL EDUCATION CENTER COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF SOUTHER NEVADA N 2 6-  I'6 SCALE 2/28/96 s