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COM History

The history of the College of the Mainland.

A Brief History of the College

College of the Mainland was a beckoning vision in the minds of community leaders as far back as the early 1960s. The first concrete step was taken in October, 1966, when the College of the Mainland Junior College District was formed. The area of the College District encompasses 237 square miles and its boundaries are coterminous with the five independent school districts of Dickinson, Hitchcock, LaMarque, Santa Fe and Texas City.

The second step toward realization was taken on December 10, 1966, when the voters of the College District approved a bond issues of $2,850,000 and supporting taxes for debt service and operation. In quick succession, the Board of Trustees selected a president, hired faculty members and staff, located temporary facilities and College of the Mainland came into existence. The first class of 414 students enrolled for classes in September 1967.

Students attended classes in temporary quarters until the first phase of construction was completed on 120 acres bounded by Palmer Highway and Amburn Road in Texas City. On February 27, 1970, the college moved to its beautiful new campus which consisted of an Administration Building, Learning Resources Center, Math-Science Building, Technical- Vocational Building and a Central Utilities Building.

On May 16, 1970, the citizens of the Junior College District approved a second bond issue of $4,750,000 and supporting taxes for operation and debt service of the second phase of construction. The second building program included a Fine Arts Building, a Physical Education Complex, a Student Center, an increase of 100 percent in the Technical-Vocational facilities and 60 percent expansion of the Math-Science facilities. The second construction phase was completed in September of 1972, followed by a print shop building and a firing range.

A 20,000 foot addition to the Technical-Vocational Building was completed in the Fall of 1985. The expansion houses computer labs, classrooms, offices and a Child Development Lab designed as a training ground for students enrolled in the Child Development Program.

In 1991, two Industrial Education Buildings were completed to house the Auto Mechanics Technology and Diesel Mechanics Technology Programs. The well-equipped facilities added 25,335 square feet of building space to the campus, for a grand total of 300,745 square feet.

In 1999, a new 10,800 square foot Public Service Careers Building was opened across the esplanade from the Fine Arts Building. The new facility houses faculty offices, classrooms and labs for three major public service career fields - law enforcement, emergency medical services, pharmacy technician and fire protection.

In 2003, the College opened a 7,500-square foot Learning Center in League City to address the growing education and training needs of COM's North Galveston County service area. The Learning Center offers college credit as well as continuing education classes.

COM 50th Anniversary Book

Handbook of Texas Online

Handbook of Texas Online

The College of the Mainland, located in Texas City, was launched in late 1966 when the voters of Dickinson, Hitchcock, La Marque, Santa Fe, and Texas City approved a building-bond issue of $2,850,000.

The idea of a community college had begun in 1935. Herbert F. Stallworth, who previously had helped establish two colleges, was selected to head the new college in April 1967, and Fred A. Taylor was appointed dean of instruction. Classes were begun in temporary quarters in 1967. On March 21, 1970, the administration building, learning-resources center, math and science building, and technical-vocational building were completed, and the College of the Mainland moved to its new campus on Palmer Highway.

Get the rest of the story or learn about the Junior College Movement in Texas: