By Jessica LeDuc
Blade staff writer
A hangar at Blosser Municipal Airport will soon be remodeled to expand Cloud County Community College's wind energy program after action taken by the board of trustees at a special meeting Wednesday morning.
In 2010, the College received a $750,000 grant from the Department of Energy for the wind energy program. Vice President for Administrative Services Bob Maxson said a part of the grant included money to pay a lease for a facility to teach turbine blade repair.
Receipt of the money was held up while the College worked toward a determination of no hazard with the Federal Aviation Administration regarding the height of the College's wind turbines.
Maxson said a lease has been drawn up between the College and Darrel Hosie, who owns the hangar where some of the wind energy classes are conducted. The two-year lease with Hosie would cover the cost of reconfiguring a portion of the hangar for the blade repair classes.
Hosie would be responsible for the construction in the hangar, Maxson said, and the two-year lease would go toward paying for that work.
No work will begin, President Danette Toone said, until she receives word from the Department of Energy that the grant dollars have finally been released. She said she hopes to hear from the DOE as soon as today that final approval has been received on the grant.
Maxson said work could begin as early as Sept. 1, and take 90-120 days to complete.
"This would be a huge boost to our blade repair program," Toone said. "But I will not sign anything until we receive the grant."
Dave Clemons voted against authorizing Toone to enter into a contract with Hosie–contingent upon final approval of the grant–for the lease. Greg Askren abstained from voting, which resulted in a 4-2 vote.
In the annual reorganization of the board, Larry Henry was named chairman, and Tom Tuggle is vice chair. The board also approved Marilyn Martin's appointment as clerk/secretary, and Gene Johnson as treasurer. Condray and Thompson was reappointed as the College's law firm.
After years of meeting at 7 p.m., at the suggestion of Tuggle, the meeting time–for at least half the year–was changed to 6 p.m.
Tuggle asked that the board consider changing the meeting time to help accommodate faculty and staff, as well as board members.
"Meetings run two, two and a half hours, and then we have executive sessions on top of that," Tuggle said. "By that time, I know I am at least, worn out, and I don't think we give adequate consideration to some of those issues (during executive session)."
Clemons said it is very difficult for him to get to a 6 p.m. meeting, because of his work schedule. In the winter months it would be easier, he said. From November to March, the board agreed to meet at 6 p.m., and from April to October, meetings will be at 7 p.m.
In personnel matters, the board approved the hire of Mitch Stimers for the position of director of institutional planning, research and effectiveness.
In May, the board approved creating the position to gather and analyze data, which would be used to inform academic decision-makers about the College's effectiveness in serving student and community needs.
Stimers is currently a college employee, and works on the Geary County campus in the Trio program. He was hired at a salary of $42,000 per year, with benefits.
With regret, the board accepted the resignation of Vice President for Academic Affairs Kim Krull. Krull was named the new president at Butler Community College in May, and will leave Cloud effective Aug. 2.
In her resignation letter, Krull said it was with mixed emotions that she left Cloud.
"I've worked very hard in my career to get to this point," she wrote. "But there is a part of me, now, that doesn't want to leave the people and place that has been my home for the past eight years and that I truly love."
A farewell reception for Krull will be Tuesday, July 30 prior to the board meeting. It is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m., and the public is invited to attend.