Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) recognized Ward 4 Councilman Pete White at the Board of Regents meeting Monday, Aug. 15, 2016, for his dedication to the college and community. Particularly, the councilman has played a key role in the approval of the Economic Development Trust TIF Fund which has made the new state-of-the art OCCC Capitol Hill Center a reality.
“The Capitol Hill Center project would not have been possible without Councilman White’s leadership in securing $3 million in TIF money for the center,â€ said OCCC President Jerry Steward during the meeting.
Over the years, the college worked with City Hall to define a TIF district to support the property and, by association, the surrounding community. The Capitol Hill Center is an entity that is launching economic development and revitalization of the historic Capitol Hill District and will serve as an invaluable resource for the community.
“I am particularly excited about the investment the college is making in the Capitol Hill area. The educational needs of Capitol Hill residents will be well served by the expansion of the Capitol Hill Center,â€ said Councilman White.
Since opening its doors in a temporary facility in the fall of 2000, the Capitol Hill Center has offered programs that focus on adult and family literacy, work readiness and early college awareness. The center also offers a certificate of mastery program in bilingual banking and finance. It serves as a community center open to the public for the usage of its computer labs and facilities for meetings and events.
“The Capitol Hill Center provides opportunities for both individuals and organizations to actively participate in the educational and economic development of their own neighborhood,â€ says OCCC Vice President for Community and Workforce Development Lemuel Bardeguez. “We believe the renovation will only bring more value and opportunity to the Capitol Hill community as we continue to expand our programs and resources offered.â€
The Capitol Hill Center began its renovation in the building formerly occupied by the Christmas Connection in July 2014 and is tentatively scheduled for completion in early spring 2017. In the 2016 fiscal year, the center has served approximately 1,400 students and 12,000 visitors, a number which is expected to grow once the renovation is complete. When the newly renovated center opens, OCCC plans to broaden program offerings that enhance access to education for the members of the Capitol Hill community.
A lifelong Oklahoma resident and Army Veteran, Councilman White has served as the Ward 4 councilman since April 2005. With a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Central Oklahoma, White continued his education at the Oklahoma City University School of Law graduating in 1972 and has practiced private law in Oklahoma City ever since.
White currently serves as the chairman of the Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust and on the City Council Finance, Social Services and Judiciary committees.
OCCC enrolls more than 20,000 students and has more than 90,000 participants in its various community programs annually. The college is currently the largest adult basic education provider in the state. OCCC offers a full range of associate degree programs that prepare students to transfer to baccalaureate institutions while other degree and certificate programs prepare students for immediate employment. At OCCC, students receive a quality education with small class sizes, dedicated professors and leadership opportunities. Students can choose from more than 80 major fields of study and participate in any of the 40+ clubs and organizations. For more information about OCCC, visit www.occc.edu .