February 2009 Board Meeting Report

Economic development, employment opportunity and alternative energy careers will result from construction of a proposed $13 million Technology and Workforce Development Center at Illinois Valley Community College, President Jerry Corcoran said Wednesday.

In a report to the board, Corcoran said the college has been hosting meetings with state and federal lawmakers to gain support for the 52,000-square-foot facility to be located just east of the main campus.

“This facility is a high priority because of the impact it will have in preparing our students for today’s manufacturing and high-technology jobs,” said Corcoran. “It will also enhance our district economy and promote progressive careers in wind energy and other alternative energy sources.”

IVCC has raised its $5 million share for the project but needs $8 million in state funding before it can break ground and an additional $2.7 million in technology and equipment once the building is completed, Corcoran said.

The proposed center will house electronics technology, drafting, computer aided drafting and design (CADD), computer network administration, process operations, industrial electricity and the adult education program.

Also moving into the facility are programs currently located in the east campus temporary buildings such as horticulture, manufacturing (machinist and tool & die), HVAC, CNC and industrial maintenance including pneumatics, hydraulics and pipefitting.

“We have 400 students in these programs – about 10 percent of our total student headcount – and more than 500 in our adult education program that will study and train in this state-of-the-art facility,” Corcoran said. The center would also accommodate “rapidly increasing student interest in high-demand programs.”

The center would also allow for the growth of existing programs in warehousing and distribution and CNA, proposed programs in the aforementioned wind energy maintenance technology and emergency medical services (EMT and paramedic), and programs the college is just beginning to investigate such as physical therapist assistant and dental hygienist.

Once state funding is secured, the college could begin construction within a year, Corcoran said.

In other action, the board approved tenure for instructors Nora Bazydlo, nursing, Jason Beyer, philosophy, Tim Bias, manufacturing technology and Delores Robinson, English composition, after reviewing their portfolios.

The board also:

  • Learned that as of Jan. 30, credit hours were up 4.8 percent over the same date last year.
  • Accepted a 36-month rental agreement with Illinois Valley Business Equipment of Peru for the use of nine Canon copiers at a total cost of $86,874.54.
  • Authorized notice be given to eight Sheridan Correctional Center instructors their contracts could be terminated June 30 if the college does not receive funding from the Illinois Department of Corrections. 
  • Dealt with routine budget matters including assigning Dr. Corcoran to prepare a tentative budget by July 22 and schedule a public hearing Aug. 26 prior to final adoption.
  • Increased tuition and universal fees to $69.75 per hour with a $2 per hour hike and tuition for high school students enrolled in Early Entry College courses to $31.25 with a $1 per hour increase. In addition, trustees adjusted fees for 37 courses and added fees for 21 new courses. In fiscal 2008, IVCC had the second lowest tuition rate of 39 Illinois community colleges. The increase will generate an estimated $150,000 annually, according to Vice President for Business Services and Finance Cheryl Roelfsema.
  • Extended the contract for auditors Gordon, Stockman & Waugh P.C. through 2011 for a combined three-year total of $94,500.
  • Adopted changes to the presidential evaluation form and a new board self-assessment form.
  • Recommended a fire alarm panel be installed in the new truck driver training facility (as per the base bid) to provide voice messaging and weather warnings from the main campus. The facility and skills path course is expected to open this summer.
  • Approved the replacement of transformers in buildings D and E to “assure a safe and reliable source of electrical power.” The estimated $754,946 project will be paid from protection, health and safety funds. In addition, the board approved a $9,225 software upgrade for the main campus fire alarm system.
  • Agreed to purchase electricity from Sempra Solutions for June, July, August and September when about 45 percent of the college’s annual usage occurs. During the summer months, electricity prices often increase up to 20 percent, said Roelfsema. “By contracting with Sempra, we hope to reduce our summer rates,” she said.
  • Learned Lukas Berkon, formerly a graduate assistant coach at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn., has been hired as men’s tennis coach and IVCC health and wellness instructor Julie Sherbeyn as volleyball coach.
  • Approved the bid of Orchard View of Princeton for catering services for IVCC’s early childhood education program at Ace Hardware Retail Support Center in Princeton. The board also learned of the resignations of two instructors at the facility, Megan Lundeen and Shelly Miller.
  • Learned IVCC students received $960,317 in assistance from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) in 2007-08. A total of 1,006 awards were issued at an average of $954 per student.