RGC Celebrates New Site in Castroville

Superintendent James Stansberry prepares to cut the ribbon to officially open the Higher Learning Center on the campus of the Medina Valley Independent School District. Surrounding him are the presidents of Southwest Texas Junior College and Sul Ross State University, Red Vests of the Castroville Chamber of Commerce, and school board members.-Laura Nelson photo

By Laura Nelson

Over 500 community members, students, faculty, and staff from the Medina Valley Independent School District, Southwest Texas Junior College, and Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College celebrated the grand opening of the Higher Learning Center last week.

The new building expands the MVISD campus located just outside Castroville and it also increases the reach of SWJTC and RGC. The two will begin offering classes in the Higher Learning Center for the spring semester beginning January 20, 2015. The new building features four classrooms that have state-of-the-art technology with 80 inch screens used for teleconference classes. It also includes two computer labs/study centers and a fully-equipped chemistry lab.

Superintendent James Stansberry and the MVISD school board envisioned a place where not only their students, but area community members would have access to higher education. That vision became a reality in the Higher Learning Center. Mr. Stansberry, SWTJC President Hector Gonzalez and SRSU President Bill Kibler all spoke of the services the Center will provide. The Red Vests of the Castroville Chamber of Commerce led the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Visitors toured the new building, socialized with faculty and staff from the three schools, and learned more about the educational opportunities the new site affords. The Chill’in and Grill’in barbecue team provided guests with delicious smoked brisket and ribs as well as tasty bacon wrapped sausage and peppers. Members of the team include Kyle Sandvig, Brandon Haby, Vincent Guevara, Chris Prater, Patrick Wilson, and Yvette Huffman.

Paul Sorrels, Associate Provost/Dean of RGC said, “Sul Ross Rio Grande College is extremely excited to be part of this Higher Learning Center partnership.  This promises to be an exceptional service opportunity to the residents of the Medina Valley region.  RGC has over 30 years of experience in 3 other locations of bringing transformative educational opportunities to adult students and others who cannot leave home to attend a traditional residential university.  With the lowest tuition and fees in the state of Texas, accessible entrance requirements, and convenient locations, this facility and RGC’s programs will become an integral part of the economic and cultural development of the region.  The vision of the Medina Valley Independent School District to offer full life span educational options will be a major factor in the exciting future growth in the area west of San Antonio.”