Texas Community Colleges

Board Approves $15 Million Renovation Project


During Monday’s meeting, the board officially approved a $15 million renovation project on the campus. The project includes cafeteria renovations, covering concrete walkways and the plaza, a cardiovascular center, renovations to the fine arts building, improvements to the chilled water systems and electrical work.

To fund the project, the board added 5.48 cents to the 2013-14 tax rate. Chief Financial Officer Patricia Claxton said the money will be set aside for the project over 20 years, but plans are to have the debt paid off prior to that time.

“Once the bond is paid off, the tax rate goes down,” said trustee Drew Bullard.

In making the motion, Dr. Jay Kidd, trustee, said, “We have been trying to improve this campus for the past 20 years.”

The board agreed to the 25 cent tax rate per $100 valuation. The rate is 6.42 cents higher than last year, and does include the additional 5.48 cents for the improvement project.

Trustees scheduled public hearings for 5:30 p.m. Aug. 20and Aug. 26. The final vote on the tax rate and budget will be held at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 30. All three meetings will be in the Palmer Hall boardroom.

Trustees also approved a payment in lieu of taxes schedule for the Fluvanna Renewable Energy Project. The college, according to figures presented by the group at last month’s meeting, could receive an average of $590 per megawatt. Over the 10-year agreement, the college could see $1.77 million in added revenue.

The board also set the workforce rate between no charge to $20.25, based on the continuing education course offered. A lease agreement for maintenance equipment with Professional Turf Products was also approved. The college will update its machinery through the four-year lease with monthly payments of $3,342.80.

Trustee Eddie Peterson asked if the college will charge teams or organizations to use Weaver Field, the college’s soccer complex. The complex was built at no charge to the college by the Weaver family. The family asked that the facility be used for youth soccer leagues at no charge. Board members and the administration said that policy will continue.

The summer enrollment figures showed that 2,068 students took classes during the spring flex, MayMester, Summer I and Summer II semesters. Those students compiled 256,656 contact hours, down from last year’s record-high of 261,056. A total of 5,060 students took at least one continuing education course, which had a total of 343,443 contact hours.

- Ben Barkley, Snyder Daily News