The Barton Community College Board of Trustees have approved an increase in tuition and fees for all students, starting in the fall of 2013. However, they also increased the discount to Barton County students, so there will be no change in what they pay, said BCC President Dr. Carl Heilman.
Trustees met Tuesday and approved the future increases of $2 per credit hour for tuition and $2 for fees. Since state funding to the college is expected to decrease next year, trustee John Moshier commented, “unfortunately, the students’ piece of (the funding) pie increases.”
Although the $4 per credit hour increases will apply to all sectors of students, trustees also increased the discount or scholarship to students residing in Barton County from $3 to $7 per credit hour. Before discounts, each credit at Barton will cost $91 for in-state students and $122 for out-of-state students.
Intent to build
Trustees also approved a “resolution of intent,” announcing plans to build a new dormitory while refinancing the debt on the dorm built in 1990. The new building would replace the two oldest dormitories and increase the capacity by 46 beds.
At present, student dorm capacity is 292, which includes 126 beds in Bluestem and Meadowlark Halls. These are the original dorms constructed in 1977-78. Dean of Administration Mark Dean estimated the new dorm will cost $4,625,000. Since it will be paid for with student housing revenue, housing fees will need to increase by $500 a year.
By combining the financing for a new project with the already approved refinancing of the existing dorm at today’s lower interest rates, it is estimated the college will save an additional $35,000. Refinancing the existing dorm should save the college $200,000 over the term of the loan.
“I have a lot of concerns about moving forward (on this),” Johnson said. “The state is talking about a 10 percent cut in funds. ... But I like the idea of having some flexibility that we’ve never had.” For the last four semesters, there have not been enough rooms to house students. Johnson said the college also needs to provide modern facilities, comparable to that on other campuses. “It’s difficult to justify this kind of expense, but we have.”
“Safety concerns justified it for me,” Moshier said. The older dorms lack some of the safety features of newer dorms.
The resolution approved Tuesday will be published twice as a legal notice. A 30-day period will follow, during which a petition signed by at least 5 percent of the registered voters in Barton County could be submitted, and force the matter to an election. If the project moves forward, more board action will be needed, Dean said. A new dorm could be completed by August of 2014.
The bid for a new gym floor in the Physical Education Building was awarded to the low bidder, RHR Construction, based in Larned, for $59,500. As general contractor, RHR will subcontract with Sports Unlimited in Stillwater, Okla., for the Aacer-brand UltraFlex DC maple floor system. Six other companies bid on the project, offering a variety of floors. Dr. Leonard T. Fleske and his wife Sheila Fleske have agreed to provide the funding for this project.
In other action, the board:
• approved hiring the following new employees: Janae Svoboda, administrative assistant to the vice president of instruction and student services; Amber Coker – BCUB tutor, part-time; and Dee Holman, chief GED examiner, part-time.
• renewed an interlocal agreement with the City of Great Bend, which allows tax rebates for a period of time on some new construction.
• approved a resolution required by the Internal Revenue Service, adopting specific compliance standards for the handling of tax-exempt debt.