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Excited About Growth, College Campus Opening

Excited About Growth, College Campus Opening

By Wylie News | news@wylienews.com

As another year draws to a close, several individuals in positions of leadership were asked to review what they considered the triumphs of 2019, with a few nods to 2020.

 

Eric Hogue, Mayor, City of Wylie

It has been another exciting year in Wylie, Texas. We continued to see our population grow with nearly 53,000 citizens that now call Wylie their home. We saw new businesses come into our community and grow with great success like Schlotzsky's, Fish and Tails, Chick-Fil-A, Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Josephine's Neighborhood Bistro, Bold BBQ, McAllister’s, MOD Pizza, Ulta, and Bath and Body Works due to the hard work of our Economic Development Corporation and our outstanding city staff.

In the coming months Collin College: Wylie Campus, will open its doors. For over two decades we have had people in our community pushing to get a college campus in our city, and now it is about to become a reality. Classes will begin starting the fall semester of 2020. When the campus opens it will accommodate over 7,500 students with future plans to be able to educate over 12,000. While people think of a college as a place right after high school, the average age of a Collin College student is 26 years old. In other words, this campus will serve citizens of all ages.

While we see all this growth and change in Wylie, we still have those events and activities that keep us grounded in what makes our hometown unique and special. With events like our festivals, our active senior center, our busy library and recreation center, a drop in crime and our continued ISO-1 rating, we are reminded of why we have such a great 132-year history (our city’s birthday was November 8, 1887).

In the year 2000, we were a great community of starter homes, we had people move out as their families and careers grew. Our city leaders at that time made the conscience decision to upgrade our building standards, so we could still have those starter homes, but also homes that would cause people to stay in Wylie, Texas as their families and careers grew. As we look to 2020 see people still discovering Wylie, and businesses coming our way to provide goods and services to all our citizens.

 

David Vinson, Superintendent, Wylie ISD

Wylie ISD had an amazing 2019 as our success continues to grow right along with our enrollment. Last year we left for Christmas break with 15,871 students, this year we leave with 17,264. Yes…almost 1,500 new students are riding for the Wylie ISD brand. Families are choosing Wylie ISD for lots of reasons: our exemplary academic programs and outstanding extra-curricular activities. Or our nationally-recognized character educational program The Wylie Way.

This past May, our community approved a $193.7 million bond program which will allow us to meet this growth by adding new classrooms and additions at our fastest-growing campuses. All projects are on schedule and within budget. Thank you for your continued trust and support. You can follow the progress at https://www.wylieisd.net/bond2019.

In 2019 we celebrated several successes in the classroom. The Wylie ISD earned an overall "A" rating from the Texas Education Agency and an "A" in all 3 areas of the A-F system. Our score was 93, one of the highest in North Texas. Wylie ISD SAT and ACT scores are above state and national averages and both Wylie High and Wylie East were named to the 9th Annual AP® District Honor Roll. Wylie ISD is one of just 373 school districts in the U.S. and Canada, and one of only 28 in Texas, to earn this distinction.

Our community’s commitment to education extends beyond our campuses. In 2020 we will proudly join in welcoming Collin College to Wylie. This partnership has been a shining star over the years as our dual credit enrollment has grown from 826 students last year to just under 1,200 this year. There are some exciting possibilities on the horizon and we look forward to announcing some innovative programs that will provide new career pathways and opportunities for our students.
As I count my blessings this season, I consider serving as your superintendent as one of my biggest. Wylie ISD believes that raising good kids is just as important as raising smart kids. We have thoughtful, caring, compassionate students...the Wylie Way. On behalf of the Trustees and staff, Happy New Year!
 

Neil Matkin, President, Collin College

From building campuses to meeting the demand of area industry with innovative workforce degrees, the past year at Collin College could be summed up in one simple phrase: partnerships with the community resulting in growth. Those same words will ring true for the college in 2020. In the 2018-19 academic year, Collin College reached an unduplicated enrollment of more than 59,000 students and held groundbreakings for the Wylie and Technical campuses, which will both open in Fall 2020. A groundbreaking was held for the Farmersville Campus, and a groundbreaking for the Celina Campus will take place soon. Both campuses are scheduled to open in 2021.

The college’s landscape is changing with new campuses and bachelor’s degrees. In 2021, a state-of-the-art IT Center at the Frisco Campus (Preston Ridge) will be home to the Bachelor of Applied Technology (BAT) in Cybersecurity degree. Classes for the BAT and Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN) begin in January 2020. In addition to earning the Collin College BSN and BAT in Cybersecurity degrees, students can earn four bachelor’s degrees from Texas A&M University-Commerce at Collin College’s Frisco Campus (Preston Ridge) including a Bachelor of Business Administration in General Business, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Analytics, a Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness, and a Bachelor of Social Work.

The college is also finalizing master and strategic plans for the next five years which will highlight growth and target sustaining and improving systems for students, faculty, and staff. The master plan will be facility- and infrastructure-based, and the strategic plan will focus on academic goals and programs.

The year 2020 will usher in bright beginnings for the college. On April 6, Collin College will celebrate 35 years of serving Collin County. In the Fall, the college will open the comprehensive Wylie Campus where students can earn workforce degrees and certificates and take classes that will transfer to universities. Exceptional professors with diverse backgrounds ranging from physics and information technology to health sciences and art cannot wait to begin teaching students in Wylie. This campus will offer cutting-edge educational opportunities like a high-tech art history classroom which utilizes multiple image projections, allowing students to immerse themselves in panoramic artistic masterpieces from around the world without ever leaving Wylie. We have been busy planning the details of this campus and envisioning students congregating on the social staircase, grabbing lunch in Mama Lucido’s café, and discussing projects on the second-story Student Center outdoor deck. It won’t be long until this campus opens and these students become our community’s future leaders.

 

Sam Satterwhite, Executive Director, Wylie EDC

Incentivizing business relocation and expansion continues to be the focus of the Wylie EDC.  New commercial investment in our community results in a healthier tax base, increased employment opportunities for local citizenry, and the provision of a variety of new shopping and dining opportunities benefiting us all.

2019 saw the City of Wylie and WEDC finalize a 10-year Sales Tax Reimbursement Agreement with InvenTrust, developer of the Target-anchored Woodbridge Crossing, under which multiple infrastructure improvements were funded.  In addition to a healthy mix of shopping and dining experiences, Woodbridge Crossing generates in excess of $1.6 mm per year in sales tax to the City and has an ad valorem tax value of $79 mm.

Additional success in 2019 saw the redevelopment of approximately 3 acres of WEDC-owned property on State Highway 78 with Whataburger under contract and the construction of a 10,000 square foot multi-tenant facility housing a popular Schlotzsky’s Austin Eatery and a highly successful Fish N’ Tails Oyster Bar.

In line with the WEDC’s history of taking on difficult projects, a 13-acre property assemblage was undertaken in 2019.  In an effort to protect a property with significant commercial potential from patchwork development, the WEDC acquired 15 different contiguous parcels at the intersection of Brown Street and State Highway 78 with the full intent of developing a highly visible master planned property with a mix of retail, professional services, and office development.  Since the Kansas City Southern Railway Company relocated its mainline tracks from Highway 78 in 2000, the WEDC has dedicated countless resources to the redevelopment of over 24 acres of property with frontage on Highway 78 for the long-term betterment of our community.

Equally important if not more was assistance packages for 4 small businesses totaling 28,000 square feet of new commercial facilities, 60 new jobs, and $4.4 mm in new investment.

2020 will start with two first quarter groundbreakings for new medical office buildings totaling 17,000 square feet, $9 mm in new investment, and 40 new jobs.  The City Council and WEDC Board will also focus on WEDC-owned property on Jackson Street in Historic Downtown Wylie and two acres on South Ballard to attract high-quality mixed-use developments not only to secure new investment to Wylie, but also to compliment existing businesses in Historic Downtown Wylie.

Please follow this link to the original article on the Wylie News website.

 

About the Wylie Economic Development Corporation

The Wylie Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is funded through a citywide half-cent sales tax that is impacted/funded via the 220,000 consumers in our retail trade area. The WEDC facilitates corporate relocations, local expansions of existing businesses, retail/commercial development and revitalization projects that lead to the creation of new jobs and the generation of additional tax revenue for the community.

For more information, visit www.WylieEDC.com.

 

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