East Central College and the School District of Washington will continue to partner in providing programming in early childhood development at the school district’s Early Learning Center.
At their May 11 meeting, college trustees approved updates to the original agreement from 2014. Participating students will continue to have the opportunity to acquire both college credit and the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential while completing high school.
Completion last fall of Washington’s Early Learning Center resulted in opportunities for the college to offer coursework at the site for traditional college students and for students in the early childhood development program to observe the children enrolled at the center.
Arrangements for shared staff that satisfy the credential requirements of both schools are outlined in the agreement, along with space and technology needs for program delivery.
Jean McCann, vice president of instruction at ECC noted that coursework will continue to be offered at the Early Learning Center for incoming seniors from Washington High School and other sending schools in the area as well as ECC students.
Central Methodist University Presence at ECC Campus Extended
In other action trustees approved a revised memorandum of understanding with Central Methodist University for continuing usage of facilities for the 2016 fiscal year. CMU will pay a flat rental fee of $20,000 per year based on 45 credit hours per eight-week session for general classroom usage. That is an increase of $3,000 from the previous lease, which had been unchanged since 2005.
CMU has offered bachelor’s and master’s level classes on the ECC Union campus since 1992.
Architectural Engineering Services
Trustees approved a $137,000 contract with Cochran Engineering in Union for professional design services required for the renovation of the former Gala Center just southeast of the campus in Union.
Purchase of the Gala Center was finalized in April so plans for the renovation of the building can begin. The precision machining and industrial engineering technology programs currently housed at Four Rivers Career Center in Washington will be relocated to the new facility, along with the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning program now located on the main campus.
College President Jon Bauer told trustees that Cochran is uniquely qualified to perform this work since the firm was responsible for the original design of the building which was constructed in 2007.
The contract includes fees for architectural, civil, structural and mechanical/electrical/pumbing/fire protection design. Cochran also provided cost figures on fees for the design of a loading dock and in-fill of the existing courtyard and patio areas.
Bauer noted that college officials will work with Cochran on design of the space over the summer, with the intention of bidding the project in the fall. Renovation would continue through next spring with the plan to move into the facility at the end of the 2016 spring semester.
ECC purchased the building for $1.2 million from Bequette Construction, Inc.
Underwriting Services and Bids Approved
George K. Baum and Company of Kansas City was authorized to provide underwriting services so ECC can refinance the Series 2008 and 2006 general obligation bonds.
Four firms responded to ECC’s request for proposals with Baum submitting the lowest underwriter fee of $3.75 per $1,000. Refinancing the bonds will allow the college to lower the interest amount paid to bond holders due to favorable bond market conditions.
Baum estimated a net present value savings of $240,528 over 20 years on the 2006 series of bonds. For the 2008 series, Baum estimated net present value savings of $646,716 over 20 years. Actual savings will depend on market conditions at the time of refunding.
Upgrades to computer equipment through a state negotiated purchasing contract with Dell were approved by trustees.
East Central College will spend $29,297 to purchase 30 Dell instructor computer workstations to replace those currently used in classrooms. The purchase will be funded with technology fees.
The college will also purchase a Dell SonicWall firewall for the computer network. Technology fees will be used to cover 80 percent of the $37,716 purchase with institutional support funds used to pay for the remaining 20 percent.
Work is underway on the budget for fiscal year 2016 which begins July 1. Bauer told trustees that he is projecting two percent growth in the taxing base for the district and a four percent decrease in enrollment. “The big driver on expenses is the cost of salaries and benefits,” Bauer said. The administration is still negotiating a contract with faculty NEA representatives that will be incorporated into the budget.
Bauer also noted that the budget signed by Governor Nixon last week includes several positive aspects for ECC including an increase in funding for the A+ Program, appropriations for customized training and equity funding for community colleges.
In his report, Bauer stated that House Bill 19, a bond issuance to fund maintenance and repair projects, was approved by the Legislature last week. “We hope the bill is in a form Gov. Nixon can sign quickly so we can begin planning for improvement projects,” he said. “This was a priority coming into this Legislative session and we’re thrilled that the general assembly has passed the bill and sent it to the governor.”
Bauer said college officials are hopeful that the bill is in a form Gov. Jay Nixon can sign quickly so the college can begin planning for improvement projects. If approved, ECC will receive approximately $1.8 million.
In personnel matters, trustees accepted the resignations of two employees. Andrea Garner, assistant professor and program coordinator of the nursing program in Rolla, will be employed through June 30. She started teaching at ECC in 2010 was promoted to her current position in 2012.
The resignation of Rachael Calvin, enrollment services coordinator at ECC-Rolla, was effective May 8. Calvin worked at ECC from 2003 to 2005. She returned to the college in 2008 as a program assistant in the office of career, technical and outreach education. She was promoted to her current positon in Rolla in 2010.
The board also approved the appointment of more than 80 adjunct faculty for the 2015 summer session.
Two changes were made to board policies. Trustees adopted a policy to include a public comment period at the beginning of each monthly meeting. “The opportunity for public comment has rarely been used, but it is important to include it on the board agenda,” noted Bauer. “It will be beneficial to have a policy that specifically authorizes public comment at meetings and procedures that detail how it will be administered.”
The new policy states the each person wishing to address the board should enter his or her name and the topic to be addressed on a form available prior to the start of the meeting. Each speaker will be limited to no more than three minutes for comments and permitted to address the board only once during the public comment period.
The board will not provide a response at the time of a speaker’s presentation, but may ask questions or request clarification to ensure understanding of the speaker’s comments. All comments will be taken under advisement, with the board president clarifying remarks at the end of the public comment session to address any misstatements of fact.
Associated with the new policy is approval of minor revisions to the rules of order to incorporate the public comment period prior to approval of the formal agenda.