ODESSA -- While the threat of Odessa College closing is still everyone's biggest concern, on Friday hope and faith in lawmakers and friends of O.C. seemed to overpower doubt. And Tryon Lewis reassured the crowd that he is backing the institution with all of his might.
And Representative Lewis isn't alone. O.C. President Dr. Gregory Williams says Odessans are getting help from others in the area.
"We received calls of support from the University of Texas Permian Basin," said Dr. Williams. "They stand with us. Midland College -- they stand with us. The Texas Association of Community College gave many statements. We are not alone in this. "
Lewis said he was also amazed by how many people were at the news conference today to stand for Odessa College. What seemed to be on everyone's mind was what will happen to the $68.5 million taxpayer bond approved by the community last November,to help fund new facilities.
"I'm proud to be in a community that passed a bond issue because they care so much about what's going on here and the contributions to our citizens made by Odessa College and the faith they have in this bond issue," said Rep. Tryon Lewis, (R -Dist. 81).
To be safe, the new projects will be put on hold until this matter is settled. Lewis wants this worked out quickly, so that the more than 7000 students enrolled this year can get back to business, instead of worrying about finding another school.
"One of the major things this state should have as a priority is higher education. Its not a cost, its an investment " said Lewis.
The investment will help first year student Joshua Salcido. Salcido attends Odessa College because its close to home. His reaction to the proposed budget was shared by many.
"Quite appalled, there are many other programs that need to be looked at. Community College helps our community overall and its should never be put into question, said Salcido.