The total estimated population of McKinney at build out is 387,000 people. This number is slightly higher than that of Arlington today. It takes vision and leadership to ensure that McKinney’s quality of life attracts businesses that are right for McKinney. Collaborative relationships are essential to McKinney’s success. As the new year approaches, Mayor Loughmiller, Representative Sanford, Dr. Israel, County Judge Self and Dr. Kennedy share their vision for McKinney’s future.
Brian Loughmiller, McKinney Mayor
The holidays are always special in McKinney as we kick off the season with Home for the Holidays and the annual tree lighting celebration at Mitchell Park. As we start the New Year, it is also a good time to reflect on the accomplishments and the challenges of the past year and our outlook for the future in 2014.
We have seen many accomplishments towards our strategic goals as we close out the year. We are beginning construction on the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center and are moving forward with acquisition plans for the airport that will focus on economic development in corporate aviation. We have also seen new economic activity with Emerson, Wistron GreenTech Corp. and Raytheon bringing the SAS business to McKinney from Southern California.
Looking forward to 2014, the Council will be busy with our initiative to continue to bring economic development activity to our community as we focus on infrastructure improvements in the Craig Ranch Corporate Center, retail strategies in our Northwest Quadrant and expansion of our Historic Downtown as we consider options for development on city-owned property.
While economic development is important to a balanced tax base, we also will continue to focus on quality of life issues that continue to put McKinney in the national spotlight as one of the best cities in which to live, in America. Adding to the success of Bonnie Wenk Park, the hike and bike trail system, and The Courts and the Skate Park at Gabe Nesbitt Community Park, we will continue to move forward on plans for development of an aquatic center and recreation facility, also at Gabe Nesbitt.
2014 will continue to be an active time for McKinney. I hope that while we continue to move forward as a community, we also pause and reflect on all of the blessings we have received in the past as we celebrate this time of year. Please have a joyful and safe holiday season and I look forward to seeing you in 2014.
Happy Holidays and God Bless McKinney, Texas.
Texas State Representative Scott Sanford and family.
Scott Sanford, Texas State Representative
It is certainly a privilege to serve the citizens of District 70, which includes McKinney, as your State Representative in Austin. We live in a blessed and unique place.
The City of McKinney’s logo states that it is “Unique by Nature.” McKinney is unique, but not just because of natural surroundings and tangible assets like the Historic Downtown and the Regional Airport. It’s not unique just because of strong educational opportunities and a thriving economy. The true uniqueness of our community is in the character of its people. The people of this community are committed to the values of faith, family and freedom that have been the foundation for this nation.
It’s clear that citizens of Collin County care for one another, particularly those who are in need or who have been victimized. Our community is not content just to prosper and hoard the rewards of success, but our people are intent on sharing from their blessings for the benefit of others.
For 2014, we can look forward to more economic and job growth which brings more people to get to know and an opportunity to influence their lives in a positive way with our Texas hospitality.
During the year, there will be several important elections. It will be a historic election year in Texas because of the unprecedented number of statewide seats that will be changing hands.
We will have a new governor, attorney general (McKinney’s own Ken Paxton is a candidate for AG), comptroller, railroad commissioner, agriculture commissioner, land commissioner, state senator and county commissioner. There will also be an important vote on future funding of Texas highways.
Texas gets so many things right, and therefore Texas should lead the nation. Our community gets even more things right and should naturally lead this great state. The future is bright in Texas; however, I believe that we can make it even brighter by raising the bar, striving higher and pursuing even loftier goals.
Together we can lead this community, this county, the state of Texas, and this nation to a higher standard of excellence, which will positively impact future generations.
Dr. Cary A. Israel
Dr. Cary A. Israel, District President of Collin College
Growth is on the horizon for Collin College, and I’m excited to share with you that we will break ground in spring 2014 on a 125,000-square-foot Health Sciences Center for our award-winning programs. This phenomenal educational and training center will feature expanded classroom and lab space — not the least of which is a state-of-the-art simulation lab that will be a strategic asset not only to Collin College students but also to university students in health science majors. In fact, we envision this new training facility as the center of excellence in health care training for our region. Our community needs a training center of this caliber now because a tsunami is coming in terms of demand for health care, and we must take bold steps today to keep our community healthy.
Collin College also will be constructing a 23,000-square-foot conference center building at the Central Park Campus. This conference center will seat 1,000 theatre style and will serve as an important convening space for both our student body and the community. We know this will be important to McKinney’s projected growth because the city will need multiple venues where constituents can come together to collaborate. In addition to these new buildings, the college will also be renovating existing facilities to add more space for coursework in the fine arts. The arts are an important part of sophisticated communities, so we look forward to expanding Central Park with offerings in music, painting, pottery and many other genres of fine art.
Several years ago, the Collin College Board of Trustees developed a master plan for district expansion, and today you can already see remarkable changes brought to life from those plans. The established campuses of Collin College will continue to expand and grow, as will the student body, and the Board is exploring new campuses for the future as well. We are thrilled to be building new signature facilities in McKinney, Texas, where our first campus opened in 1986.
Collin College is among the finest in the nation. Students have trusted Collin College for nearly 30 years because our top priority is for students to experience first-class education, and we are grateful to the community for their support as we continue to grow.
Happy Holidays, we wish you a prosperous new year.
Tracy and Judge Keith Self
Keith Self, Collin County Judge
Every Collin County statistic points toward continued growth acceleration; home prices, job growth, tax base, safety and others. Collin County is an increasingly popular place to live, work, play and worship; and is nationally recognized in many studies and publications.
One recent media report states, “Prudential Texas Properties reports that upwardly mobile Collin County home trends, coupled with recent reports ranking the area as one of the nation’s most attractive economic hubs, position the North Texas county as a living and working area with seemingly limitless potential.”
Prices are staying strong or rising for Collin County homes, and local business prosperity stands as a beacon of light for the greater national economy. The North Texas real estate market as a whole is strong — a trend that will continue to support financial growth across many professional sectors.
Another fantastic note is that our four largest cities are all in the top 100 safest cities in America, according to rankings based on FBI statistics.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Dr. J.D. Kennedy, Superintendent McKinney ISD
Dr. J.D. Kennedy
Preparing students for higher education and future workforce demands will continue to be primary goals for McKinney ISD as we head into 2014. We will be focusing our efforts on expanding opportunities in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. We continue to receive positive feedback and widespread publicity regarding the McKinney ISD high school aviation program. We are currently the only school district in North Texas that is home to an FAA approved flight simulator, offering students the opportunity to log flight hours as they work towards their flight license. Over 200 students enrolled in the program this fall.
Our Health Careers program is also growing, and we’re excited about our partnerships with local hospitals, including Baylor Medical Center at McKinney, to provide students with opportunities to gain practical experience in health career professions. We are also expanding our Transportation, Distribution and Logistics program and looking at other areas of study that will prepare students for the future workforce.
McKinney ISD will continue to focus on offering a rigorous academic program by increasing student participation in Advanced Placement and Dual-Credit courses These efforts have earned the District recognition by the College Board and will remain a priority at all secondary campuses. We are also exploring strategic uses of technology devices in the classroom, and will be embarking upon an aggressive plan to integrate more technology use in the classroom. Nowhere is this more evident than at the newly remodeled McKinney High School. The advancements to the classroom design, science labs, fine arts wing and commons areas are completely state-of-the-art.
Lastly, we will rezone high schools early in the year in order to most effectively utilize our facilities. The completion of the rezoning will ensure that we are providing our students with the best possible academic environment, while allowing space for future growth in our schools.
We are excited about the direction McKinney ISD is heading and look forward to many student accomplishments in 2014!