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Posts published in “Day: November 17, 2016

San Jacinto College to cut four athletics programs in 2018

Decision based on facility needs and operational costs

PASADENA, Texas — San Jacinto College has a long tradition of achievement, both in the classroom and on the athletic fields and courts, with a laser focus on student success. Once dubbed “Harvard on the Highway,” the reputation of San Jacinto College is well-known as demonstrated by being named one of the 10 finalists for the prestigious 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.

In order to keep this focus, the Board of Trustees has made the difficult decision to discontinue competitive athletic programs in men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball and men’s soccer, effective May 2018.

The decision was made official November 7, 2016, at the regular meeting of the San Jacinto College Board of Trustees. The College will continue to offer National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) competitive athletics in baseball and softball.

“This was an extremely difficult decision,” said Dan Mims, Chairman, San Jacinto College Board of Trustees. “For the last 10 years, the Board has been having difficult discussions around athletics and facilities. The Board is charged with being fiscally responsible and good stewards of taxpayer dollars. Because student success is the core value at San Jacinto College, we need to remain true to our mission around student success and focus our resources on programs and initiatives that impact the broader student body.”

These issues have been discussed for nearly a decade at San Jacinto College through facilities planning, which determines current and future needs. As the 2015 bond referendum was under consideration, critical facility and infrastructure needs were identified and prioritized. Most recently, it was determined that the gymnasiums on each campus require significant capital improvements, and specifically, the Central Campus facility needed a major renovation or to be entirely rebuilt in order to accommodate the competitive athletic programs. While the athletic programs have had many successes, the priority needs to be on the broader student population’s educational goals and what will have the most impact on that broader population.

In addition, the College also considered the operating costs for six highly competitive athletic programs and determined that these costs were not sustainable for the long term.


EAST HARRIS COUNTY – The federal Environmental Protection Agency announced last Wednesday that they were extending the comment period for the public to express their opinions on whether the toxic waste pits should be removed, or a cap built over them and let them stay in place. EPA granted a 45 day extension, with final comments due by January 12, 2017.

The EPA had announced on September 28 that the Proposed Plan they preferred called for removal of most of the toxic wastes, in the North and South impound areas. They would, however, allow some material to remain if its toxicity was below acceptable standards.

Although this extension came as a surprise to the parties who have been involved in the long Superfund process, nevertheless it is within the guidelines of these types of federal procedures. Any party can request a hearing, or an extension, and the EPA determines whether it is a reasonable request.

In this case, authorities indicated that several parties had made requests for an extension. All of them are proponents for leaving the waste pits in place, it was learned.

Jackie Young, the leading advocate for completely removing the waste pits, expressed a concern that the extension allows more time for the opponents to organize or solicit comments in favor of their position, to leave the wastes in the river.