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November 2009 Board Meeting Report

Illinois Valley Community College President Jerry Corcoran Thursday unveiled to board members more details on the college’s Ottawa Center scheduled to open next fall.

IVCC and the City of Ottawa are negotiating a five-year lease effective July 1, 2010 on the 11,000-square-foot Centrue Bank building at 321 W. Main St., Corcoran said at the monthly board meeting.

Rent will be $12 per square foot the first two years, $13 the third and $14 the last two. For the first six months of the first year, Ottawa will waive the rent to allow the college to implement a comprehensive marketing plan.

Under the proposal, Ottawa will provide maintenance and janitorial service, natural gas, sewer and water, a food service vendor, landscaping, parking lot development and maintenance and future green energy conservation measures.

IVCC will pay for electricity, furnishings, equipment, computers, video cameras and security-related technology.

The Center will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday and will be staffed by a Center Administrator to provide oversight and a Center Coordinator to handle day-to-day operations.

“We’d like to fill these two key full-time positions from within,” said Corcoran.

In addition, two part-time support staff, a student worker, and safety service personnel will work at the facility.  

Corcoran credited Ottawa Mayor Bob Eschbach and the Ottawa City Council for pushing forward with the initiative despite higher than expected renovation costs.

“The council, the mayor and his leadership team have worked with us on a plan that offers tremendous academic opportunities for students from Ottawa, Streator, Grand Ridge, Marseilles, Seneca, Serena, Sheridan and Earlville,” he said.

IVCC’s board is expected to take final action on the proposal Dec. 17 and the Ottawa council is expected to purchase the building from Centrue the next day.  

In another potential partnership, Corcoran and Dr. Rick Pearce, Vice President for Learning and Student Development, met recently with their counterparts at Sauk Valley Community College and Kishwaukee College to discuss the possibility of joining together to establish a wind energy maintenance certificate program and other green energy programs.

“With limited state resources available to community colleges, it’s important that we explore new ways to work together and pool resources on these kinds of programs rather than competing with each other for a limited number of students,” Corcoran explained.

The meeting opened with a presentation by Joel Torbeck, director of IVCC’s Dislocated Workers Center, an agency providing job search assistance and on-the-job and classroom training. Torbeck said the center has served 605 clients this year after enrolling 232 the previous.

“This is an economy the likes of which no one has seen in a generation,” Torbeck said.

In other business, the board approved:

  • A 36-month lease on a 2010 Chevy Express 12-passenger van from Sierra Leasing of Ottawa for $6,216.
  • Purchasing up to $60,000 in fuel for the truck driver training program from Sapp Bros. of Peru and Flying J of La Salle.
  • A tentative tax levy rate of 34.64 cents per $100 of equalized assessed valuation which represents a 2.6 percent decrease in the rate from the previous year. However, because the administration is expecting EAV growth to exceed 11 percent, a hearing will be required to comply with the Truth in Taxation Act.