Barton Community College has been running out of room at its Grandview Plaza location, and a larger site is needed soon, college administrators told the BCC Board of Trustees Thursday. The owner of the building BCC has leased for the last five years has agreed to build a new wing for a long-term rental commitment from the college.
Located in Cloud County to be close to Fort Riley, the Grandview Plaza site is where Barton offers career training in areas such as Emergency Medical Technician or hazardous material handling. BCC offers courses at the fort, and overflow Fort Riley classes are also offered at the site. Now that BCC has been named one of the official sites for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training, Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman said more floor space is needed.
This is true even though OSHA training will be offered at various locations throughout the state.
“We do have a crunch in terms of space,” Heilman said at Thursday’s Board of Trustees study session for the month of January. He asked administrators Mark Dean, dean of administration; Dr. Penny Quinn, vice president of instruction and student services; and Bill Nash, dean of technical education, to look at other buildings that could meet the college’s needs. “The best option is adding on to our facility,” Dean said, show trustees two possible layouts that would add 32,000 square feet of floor space.
The owner of the property will build the structure at his own cost, which will be recovered through an increase in BCC’s rent, Heilman said.
Thursday’s meeting was attended by Dushyant Banker, a Junction City businessman who said he wants to building a new complex the college could use — with room to expand. “I can build an entire campus to your specification,” said Banker, who is general manager of Red Carpet Inn. He also promised to raise funds for the college, as he has done for other entities.
Trustee Chairman Mike Johnson said he what Banker described wouldn’t work, but the businessman was invited to leave his proposal with Heilman. “We are very limited at Grandview Plaza in what we can do,” Johnson said. “We are restricted by the Kansas Board of Regents and the state of Kansas. A full-blown campus ... (in Cloud County), that’s just not possible by law.”
Dean said the college pays over $5,000 a month in rent now, and after the addition it will most likely go up to $7,500 or $7,800 a month. The board will be asked to approve a recommendation when it next meets at 4 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 28, in room F-30 of the Fine Arts Building.
After Thursday’s study session, the board held a special meeting. The first item of business was scheduling the Jan. 28 meeting, because of scheduling conflicts with the usual Thursday meeting.
The only other item of business at the special meeting was an executive session. The board and Dr. Heilman met privately for 20 minutes for a preliminary discussion about the acquisition of real property. The Kansas Open Meetings Act allows executive sessions in such cases to protect the public interest in obtaining the property at a fair price. Trustees did not saw what type of real property is being looked at, and the meeting adjourned after their discussion.