Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Skagit Valley Community College McIntyre Hall Groundbreaking
March 25, 2003
I am honored to be here to take part in this exciting event.
This is also an historic event.
Today we are breaking ground for an important addition to our state’s second oldest community college.
Back in 1926 when Skagit Valley College was founded, Calvin Coolidge was President.
Roland H. Hartley was the governor.
Anti-freeze was first introduced so cars could be driven year-round.
And a first-class postage stamp cost two-cents.
I guess college tuition isn’t the only cost that has increased considerably over the years!
This groundbreaking is also historic because it started with the largest individual gift ever made to our state’s community college system.
It started with the very generous family gift of $6 million from the Jack and Shirley McIntyre family.
And this is an historic event because with this gift, a revolutionary partnership was born.
McIntyre Hall is the result of this unique and innovative partnership.
It stands as a model of how an involved community can make all the difference.
The initial donation started the project.
But significant additional funding was needed.
So the partnership expanded beyond private citizens and the college to include local government.
The cities of Anacortes, Burlington, Mount Vernon, Sedro Woolley, Concrete and the town of LaConner came together with the County, forming a Public Facilities District.
The partnership went to work to raise awareness and raise the necessary funds to make this facility a reality.
The community pitched in and the partnership grew.
The Rotary Clubs in Skagit County were especially active and supportive.
Together they raised $500,000 toward the project.
The Skagit Performing Arts Council played a key role.
Families and individuals across Skagit County supported the project.
This partnership pulled together a broad coalition of people and groups with one thing in common:
A determination to make the McIntyres’ dream come true by giving this community and this college the facility they deserve.
And the partnership succeeded.
I’d also like to mention another major improvement to Skagit Valley College.
This improvement is to the Whidbey Island Campus.
The Whidbey Higher Education Center, known as Oak Hall, was recently completed. And it will open in May.
Oak Hall will provide much needed classroom and office space for both Skagit Valley Community College and Western Washington University.
It includes capacity for science labs and distance education support.
It was financed by nearly $10 million in state construction funds.
The completion of McIntyre Hall next year and the addition of Oak Hall in a few months will make an outstanding college even better.
We’re proud to be your partners in making Skagit Valley College an exceptional part of our state’s community college system.
These are investments in our state’s future.
When we improve facilities for higher learning, we make progress toward future economic vitality.
We help students get the education they deserve.
Good colleges and universities graduate better-qualified citizens into our state’s workforce.
Employers get the job skills they need in critical areas, and graduates get good-paying jobs and promising careers.
A strong education system is the key to our state’s future.
And partnerships like this one play a vital role in making the improvements we need, one community at a time.
Together, you’ve shown what can be achieved if people are willing to pull together to make something good happen.
Congratulations, and keep up the good work.
We need partnerships like yours to make sure our state will always be a great place to live, work and raise our children.