Mesalands gears up to plan for arrival of wind turbine

By Thomas Garcia Quay County Sun

Mesalands Community College is fine tuning its scheduling for the installation of its 1.5 megawatt wind turbine from General Electric, said college president, Phillip O. Barry.

“The college is at a crucial crossroads with the manufacturing, delivery and set up of the wind turbine,” Barry said at the college’s Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday.

The college will be working on dates for the turbine’s foundation, delivery and installation, Barry said. It’s possible that the first phase of installation could begin in January, he said.

Two weeks ago, the college sealed its deal for the turbine with GE.

The recent media attention of Mesalands purchase of 1.5 megawatt wind turbine and the proposed North American Wind Research and Training Center is beneficial to both the college and Tucumcari, Barry said.

“Mesalands and Tucumcari have the opportunity to be seen in a global context,” Barry said. “Mesalands can lead the state and nation in the solution of depleting fossil fuels and the need for renewable energy.”

Other items before the board included:
• A discussion of the benefits to the community and the impact made by a Title V Grant from 2002-2007 to the college.
With the grant school tutoring, summer academies, home visits and family academies were made available to selected students through the Mesalands Success Center, Barry said.

“The biggest impact that this grant made was the establishment of an endowment for scholarships for Hispanic students,” Barry said. Almost $304,000 has been raised for future students to attend college through the endowment.
The grant expired earlier this year resulting in the closure of the Success Center.

• Mesalands Commercial Drivers License course received a favorable third-party audit. The audit indicated that the course’s testing and background checks were very organized and easy to review.

• The board approved the increase of fees for the college’s new Health and Wellness facility from $15 a month to $20 a month and a new annual fee of $200, a reduction of $40 compared to the monthly fee.