The College of the Mainland Junior College District was born with the approval of area voters in October 1966. The original district encompassed 237 square miles, and includes the independent school districts of Dickinson, Hitchcock, Santa Fe and Texas City.
On December 10, 1966, college district approved a bond issue of $2,850,000 and supporting taxes for debt service and operation. In quick succession, a newly formed Board of Trustees selected a president, hired faculty members and staff, and located temporary facilities. The first class of 414 students enrolled in September 1967.
Students attended classes in temporary quarters until the first phase of construction was completed on 120 acres bound by Palmer Highway and Amburn Road in Texas City. On February 27, 1970, the college moved to its beautiful new campus that 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 phase included a Fine Arts Building, a Physical Education Complex, a Student Center, doubling the Technical-Vocational facilities, and a 60-percent expansion of the Math-Science building. Construction of the second phase was completed in September 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 that included computer labs, classrooms, and offices. A Child Development Lab School was also added to provide training opportunities for students enrolled in the Child Development program.
In 1991, two Industrial Education buildings were completed to house the Auto Mechanics Technology, Diesel Mechanics Technology, and Welding 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 housed faculty offices, classrooms and labs for four 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’s Gulf Coast Safety Institute was established in 2007 to provide safety and health training and education to workers and employers.
In 2016, COM’s 50 Plus Program, which has more than 1,200 students, opened a facility at Gulfway Plaza in La Marque. The following year COM leased a second learning location in League City to house additional more dual credit and academic classes.
Under the leadership of Dr. Warren Nichols, the COM Board of Trustees approved a maintenance tax bond of $16.9 million to replace aging underground utilities and renovate the Gymnasium and Student Center buildings, and modernize the chemistry lab.