AC-T: A-B Tech partnership faltered early

Here’s an excerpt from the Asheville Citizen-Times article:

The voicemail left on the phone of Buncombe County Manager Wanda Greene was hardly explosive.

But it was terse — and enough so to signal troubles were mounting.

“I’m not a happy camper,” Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College President Hank Dunn told Greene in that voicemail in February 2012.

County officials were not happy, either.

Emails and other correspondences obtained by the Citizen-Times show county and college officials were divided over how to implement an ambitious college building program almost as soon as voters in November 2011 narrowly approved a sales tax hike to pay for it all.

Those exchanges, obtained through public records requests, include the Dunn voice mail in which he objects to the county’s role in hiring an architect.

The quarter-cent sales tax increase is expected to generate $83 million to pay for new buildings, renovations and other facilities at A-B Tech.

To date, concerns raised by county officials have included Dunn’s original plan to move his office into a new $50 million Allied Health and Workforce Development Building and whether the building really needed to have a meeting space to accommodate 800 people.

A bill to get consideration in the state House on Monday would essentially give the county sole responsibility to complete the A-B Tech building program.


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