By Jessica LeDuc
Blade staff writer
For the second consecutive year, Cloud County Community College received good financial news at its meeting Tuesday night.
Neil Phillips, with Jarred, Gilmore and Phillips, presented the 2012 audit to the board, giving the college a clean report. Phillips said there were no detected compliance issues related to any of the college's federal financial aid programs. Because the college has had no material weaknesses in its audit, next year, it will qualify as a low-risk auditee.
The board also approved leaving the residence life rates the same for the 2014-2015 school year. While the average rates stayed the same, the board did approve increasing the rates for the diamond and emerald housing levels.
Diamond level rooms will now cost $3,350 per semester for private rooms in Thunder Heights and building 15. Emerald level rooms, which are in building seven, will be $3,235 per semester. The remaining housing level costs for shared rooms in Thunder Heights and the other dorms will remain the same.
Bob Maxson, vice president for administrative services, said keeping the rates the same for next year will hopefully help keep students living on campus. In addition, he said an end-of-semester cash bonus will also be implemented. Second year residents who renew their contracts for housing will receive $200 in cash per semester.
A new two-year lease for the hangar facility at Blosser Municipal Airport, which houses some of the college's wind energy technology classes, was approved.
The new lease calls for additional payments for each of the two years in the amount of $64,080 for remodeling the facility. Significant changes to the large bay at the hangar will include insulating, electrical, heating and cooling, lighting, and dust control in the shop area, as well as additional remodeling of the current classroom and storage area.
Funding for the lease will come from the 2010 U.S. Department of Energy grant. The project is expected to be completed in March 2014.
In personnel matters, the board approved the early retirement of longtime college employee Deb Monzon. Monzon, who has worked at the college for 31 years, is currently an instructor in physical education. Her retirement will be effective July 5, 2014, and the board authorized the administration to fill the position.
Darrin Jones was hired as the new coordinator of online services, and will begin his duties on Jan. 2, 2014, at a salary of $36,000 plus benefits.
Jones holds a Master of Science degree in Educational Technology, as well as a Master of Arts degree in teaching English as a second language. Most recently, he was an English teacher at Khalifa bin Zayed Aviation College in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.
The board also approved the hire of David Clark as a new information technology technician at the Geary County campus. Clark will begin work Jan. 2, at a salary of $29,500.
The board set Jan. 14 at 7 a.m. as the date for college President Danette Toone's annual evaluation.
During information items, Maxson told the board that a pipe in the fire suppression system broke on the first floor of Thunder Heights earlier this month. The entire first floor was flooded, he said, and students on that floor were moved to the Holiday Inn. Maxson said the damage will be fixed by the time classes resume in January.
Foundation Executive Director Kim Reynolds reported to the board that $13,000 in scholarships have been awarded for the spring semester at the Concordia campus. Another $12,000 has been awarded at the Geary County campus.
Reynolds also said a new academic enrichment fund has been established, which will provide funds for campus departments.The money will be available for departments to use in their programs and help attract students. Reynolds said that money will be available in the fall semester.
During her meeting report, Toone told the board that the college has finally been approved to receive the $1.7 million grant from the Department of Energy. She said the money will be used for the two wind turbines and to enhance the blade repair program.