The Grayson College board of trustees recently discussed potential plans to expand program offerings at the college. With the upcoming addition of a new dormitory on campus, Grayson College President Jermey McMillen said opportunities for additional sports and educational programs will be available.
“Currently, we are full in our dorm,” McMillen said. “If you’re recruiting for a baseball player, you would recruit a friend and a half. One or two other students are usually recruited and that is a good thing for having programs. Or even if it’s an arts student or a band student or a music student, they wind up doing that as well.”
Construction on the new dormitory is currently underway. The dorm will be located at the back of the campus near the Culinary Arts Building and existing Viking Hall dormitory. The residence hall will be the first built since the construction of Viking Hall. Previously, dormitories were available on the west campus, which is located on the grounds of North Texas Regional Airport — Perrin Field, but those have been out of service for six years, McMillen explained.
“The additional dormitories on the west campus are not in great shape and are not serviceable,” McMillan said. “The new one will allow us to do more. There will still be plenty of capacity for students that are interested and that are not involved in the additional programs.”
The dormitory will include a general lounge area, as well as single occupancy, double occupancy and suite style rooms with a capacity of 99 beds. Adding the capacity of Viking Hall, the college will be able to house a total of 185 to 200 beds, depending on the mix of male and female students.
McMillen went on to explain the addition of programs has been limited due to a lack of dormitory space.
“We wanted to have a conversation with the board to see what their thoughts were,” McMillen said. “We have a beautiful gymnasium so basketball makes a lot of sense because the college spent resources redoing that.”
Board President Ronnie Cole agreed, saying basketball was the primary sport discussed in the meeting.
“We have a great facility,” Cole said. “It was remodeled when we did the bond with new paint job, new floor, new scoreboard. We have the stands. The dressing rooms are all redone. The year they cut the basketball program. Our girls had gone to the national championship tournament. We finished fifth in the nation. And the next year we didn’t have the program.”
During the 2010-2011 time period, Texas cut back on funding for the college and decisions were made to cut certain programs. McMillen explained the college had seven sports at one time, but only two remain.
“Each sport brings cost and brings additional things,” McMillen said. “We would probably need an additional bus because there will be additional teams, some of whom would be going at the same time. We have to do a thorough evaluation to make sure we’re doing the right thing. Some sports don’t overlap, so you may not need the extra vehicle. All of those things will be things that my team will be working on so we’ll be going through those.”
In addition to basketball, programs like soccer, an honors program, and other sports and groups are being considered. If any sports are to be added, the decision would need to be made by spring in order to provide time for hiring and recruiting.
McMillen said the college is also working towards adding a free course for all students. The class would be a College Connections course that would be designed to help students plan their college career and connect with other students and staff.
“It would be a class to discuss what pathway you want to take and we would do assessments throughout the semester,” McMillen said. “We will register you for all of your classes for your entire study at Grayson College. We are having to build the technology for that and we would have to align the staff for that. All first time college students would be required but any students at Grayson College would be able to receive that class for free one time.”