Richfield will become a junior college town if senators agree with a bill passed Friday by the House that creates a Snow College South in the central Utah town a year from now.

Rep. Brad Johnson, R-Aurora, originally wanted the Applied Technology Center in Richfield to become a south campus for Snow College next year.But Rep. Greg Curtis, R-Sandy, got the measure changed. The State Board of Education must work with higher education officials in 1998 to bring about a smooth transition or the change to a junior college will be automatic in 1999.

"This is a tough battle, clear and simple," said Johnson about the State Board of Education's opposition to turning the ATC into a junior college.

But others didn't see it that way.

Rep. Ron Bigelow, R-West Valley City, said most of the life skills a person learns are not in college. In fact, he said, colleges often do more harm than good in preparing someone for a career - for they train them in a profession that they person can't find employment in.

But ATCs - now there is someplace where a person can learn something that gets them a job, said Bigelow.

Most House members, however, agreed with Johnson that Richfield should get a junior college if the "two giants" of education - public and higher education bureaucracies - can work together.