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NOTE: The following article originally appeared in the Tuesday, March 24, 1964, edition of the Albany Democrat-Herald.

Another stop toward a proposed community college was taken Monday, when the state and national affairs committee of the Albany Chamber of Commerce appointed a five-man committee to study and report on the cost of having the preliminary study required by the State Board of Education made.

Dr. Robert Hatton, head of the State Department of Education's Division of Community Colleges and Vocational Education, spoke and answered questions about the requirements for the study and the steps to be taken once the study was made, at the dinner meeting of the Chamber committee.

They will make their report at the next meeting of the committee, April 3, at El's Pancake House.

School administrators

Those named to the committee are all school administrators. They include William Dolmeyer, Linn County school superintendent; Harold Dishaw, Sweet Home school superintendent; Jim King, Lebanon school superintendent; James Waggoner, Scio school superintendent; and Ty Brown, Memorial Junior High School principal.

Brown estimated that about $1,500 would be needed for  professional study. Hatton said the community could make such a study without professional help, but he did not advise it.

He said it was likely that not as many people would be contacted in a non-professional study.

A study presented to the state board must have seven types of information, Hatton said. It must include figures on total population within the proposed college district, high school enrollment figures in the area, and potential community college enrollment figures.

It must also include true cash and assessed valuation of the proposed area and figures showing that the proposed district can give the local share of support necessary for the project. Employment trends information is also required.

Must survey students

A survey of high school students must be made, indicating their plans after finishing high school, their interest in a community college, and their ability to finance education plans.

The study would not attempt to determine what kind of post-high-school training is needed by the community. However, potential enrollment figures would tend to indicate this, according to Hatton.

Hatton said that everything in the study would be based on projected full-time enrollment. He said that when the high school figures are obtained, one-third can be added to them as likely adult enrollment.

When asked about senior citizen courses, Hatton stated, "Generally, the enrollment just isn't there."

After the survey is made, it must be submitted to the State Board of Education, with a petition signed by a minimum of 500 of the voters in the proposed district, indicating their support for the project.

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A $1,000 bond must also be submitted at this time "to guarantee that those petitioning are willing to help support the project," according to Hatton.

The next step is for the state board to set a boundary hearing. Anyone within the proposed district can testify here.

On information gained from this hearing, the board may alter the proposed boundaries of the district and hold another hearing.

"Boundaries set up for the district can be either set by school district boundaries or by political boundaries," Hatton said.

After the hearing, the board must approve the petition. Once approval has been made, there is a 60-day waiting period, during which appeals can be made.

Approval is final

If there are no appeals, the approval becomes final, and there must be an election between 30 and 60 days later, Hatton said. At this election the district is either formed or rejected..

If formed, board members are elected with the right to levy taxes in support of the program. "The tax base should be established by community election at the time of the board election," Hatton said.

He said that a 2 to 5 mill levy was usually voted to support the program, and estimated that a 2 mill levy should be adequate.

Hatton said that there is not state aid available for new community college districts in this biennium. "They can't possibly get a program underway until September 1965, although the district can be formed at any time," he said. He advised against hurried action which might result in defeat of the program by voters, when there would be a waiting period at the state level anyway.

He said that before state money could be involved in the program, a 10-year building plan in five two-year stages must be submitted based on projected enrollment.

Funds needed are computed in terms of what the state calls "student station," and Hatton said that it costs about $2,000 per student station for college buildings.

Of this, the state will participate up to 65 percent, or $1,300. The rest of the cost must come from local support. 

On operating costs, the state will participate up the $433 per full-time student. Under this plan, however, the local district must contribute at least 15 percent of expenses through taxes.

For further support, tuition up to $250 per student, per year, can be charged.

ADDENDUM: Linn and Benton counties agreed to form a college district by referendum vote in 1966. Classes began the following year at locations throughout the region, with Linn-Benton Community College itself then headquartered at First and Ellsworth streets in downtown Albany. A new campus was dedicated in 1974 at LBCC's permanent home base, 6500 Pacific Blvd. SW, Albany.

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