Building Troubles For Post-Secondary Education Chancellor

Alabama's Post Secondary Chancellor Faces Building Issues On Campuses Statewide
Alabama's Post Secondary Chancellor Faces Building Issues On Campuses Statewide

By Bryan Henry - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - On the surface the main building on the Patterson campus of Trenholm Tech off Highway 231 South in Montgomery appears fine but it's far from okay.

"We have a problem," said Chancellor Bradley Byrne.

In fact, the building is closed and classes have been moved elsewhere. The problem? Mold, corroding pipes and structural issues. It's the story of plain old fashion neglect over the years, according to Byrne who took over as chancellor 14 months ago.

"Poor management and not enough allocation of funds," said Chancellor Byrne.

This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of building problems. Statewide, the two-year college system has 850 buildings, more than 11 million square feet under roof.

"We have a severe building problem in Mobile that was renovated 10 years ago and it has a mold problem. We've been told it'll take $2 million dollars to fix it. Up in Huntsville we know one building has to come down," Byrne said.

At the Patterson campus there are no reports that anyone got sick and no decision has been made yet whether to rehab it or tear it down and build a new building. The decision Chancellor Byrne has made is that sooner or later the buildings in question will be dealt with. Only question is when.

"Well, that's the problem because that's a function with money. It's hard to put a time-frame on it," Byrne said.

Of the 850 buildings through the post-secondary system, Chancellor Byrne estimates anywhere from 5 to 10% of the buildings have issues ranging from mold to roofing.