Visitor count at Dinosaur Museum grows

Robert Ciolli

Attendance topped 15,468 for the 2007-2008 season at the Mesalands Community College’s Dinosaur Museum, said museum director Craig Currell.

This is an increase of 22 percent over last year, Currell said.

The museum’s annual report was presented at the Mesalands Community College’s Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday.

The museum report also showed that a total of 598 foreign visitors toured the museum, up from 300 last season.

New exhibits and additions to the museum collections helped to increase the traffic, Currell said.

States with the highest visitor attendance are:

New Mexico 2,824
Texas 2,598
Oklahoma 1,238
California 1,843
Arizona 726
Kansas 458

June is one of the museums busiest months, and it is also a good time for home construction.

Students in Mesaland’s Building Trades Program started working last week on the first of two homes to be built by students, according to a report by Building Trades Instructor Richard Gerbrandt.

The first house, a 1,614-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath home is scheduled to be completed and auctioned off in May 2009.

The house is being built on a college owned lot at South Ninth Street and West Amarosa Avenue.

Proceeds from the sale of the home will be used to finance the second home construction on an adjacent lot.

In other matters before the board:
• College President Phillip O. Barry gave an update on the accreditation reports to be submitted to the Chicago-based North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Barry said that, from 2003 to 2007, degree enrollment at the college was up 32 percent, retention rates went from 47.3 to 51.2, and graduation rates were up 182 percent.

• A recruitment television commercial for the North American Wind Research and Training Center was reviewed by the board. The commercial will air on cable in the Panhandle. The center is expected to have a wind turbine installed and to launch its classes for wind technicians in the fall.