SCCC Board Takes Conservative Approach to Recommended Projects
Joe Denoyer - November 11, 2016 10:03 am
Seward County Community College trustees addressed new opportunities and longstanding projects Monday night. With the resignation of Athletic Director Galen McSpadden, the board will being to examine the College’s need for an AD whose job will include responses to upcoming changes in the Region VI division of the NJCAA. At the same time, a proposal by the administrative team to address long-deferred maintenance projects drew attention to the need for fiscal responsibility and taxpayer funding.
In the end, the board opted to take a characteristically conservative approach, and table the proposal for capital and special projects recommended by the executive team.
“If we’re going to make a decision on this proposal, we have to try to do it within our current budget,” said trustee Dustin Ormiston. “I don’t think the taxpayers are open to increases, and more importantly, we can’t make assumptions about funding sources.”
College President Dr. Ken Trzaska said that while some of the goals can be reprioritized, “a big piece of this proposal is about safety and security, and projects that have been talked about by the team during my tenure.”
Vice-chair Marvin Chance noted that many of the proposed projects have been on the waiting list for years.
“At some point, we have to bite the bullet,” he said. “I’m going to put paying our staff and having the right people in place first, but I want us to pick certain of these and get the mandatory items in place.”
Vice President of Finance and Operations Dennis Sander reminded the board that “as of July 1, we’ll be a concealed-carry campus. We don’t have enough security funding to enforce a no-guns policy, and that means there are a number of things to decide about how to move forward.”
Board chair Ron Oliver affirmed the value of the discussion.
“These are all good points,” he said. “At this point, we’ve got to figure out how to pay for it.”
Trustee Rick Brenneman made a motion to table the discussion, with a request that the executive team provide more details about the priorities of the projects, funding options, and three tiers of possibility, each based on a different total dollar amount to be spent.
Projects outlined in the executive team’s 10-year, $3 million scope of work include key-code access doors in the student dorms and, eventually, across campus; safer, lightweight retractable bleachers for the Greenhouse gymnasium; system upgrades to provide critical security and backup for the College’s computer network; classroom improvements to enable online education expansion and enrollment growth; parking lot lighting to enhance student safety and college property; overdue roof repairs on many buildings; improved sound systems in the gym and theater; code-compliant safety improvements to the theater lighting and mezzanine system; vehicle replacements, including buses; athletic facility repairs and renovations such as tennis court resurfacing; and maintenance needs at the Colvin Adult Learning Center and the SCCC Library. Another category of improvements and repairs to the dorms and the cafeteria, part of which may be matched by cafeteria services provider Great Western Dining, rounded out the list.
Discussion of the projects, Oliver said, “should be a work in progress.”
Ormiston also noted that, ideally, improvements should work in tandem with major gifts projects spearheaded by the SCC Foundation. In the end, Ormiston said,
“We need to look at what we think needs to be done, what we can afford to do, the funds that are available, and answer as many question marks as we can.”
The board voted 6-0 to table the proposal and return for more discussion next month.
In other business, the board accepted the personnel report, which included the resignation of Athletic Director Galen McSpadden, who will continue as head baseball coach. The board also accepted an early retirement request from maintenance employee Steve Armstrong. New employees include library director Lindsay Tuman, automotive instructor Kelly Malwitz, and nursing instructor Melanie Brewer.
Open positions include a nursing clinical instructor, safety and security officer, diesel technology instructor, student records assistant, and KSBDC Associate Regional Director. More details on open positions are available on the college website, sccc.edu.