Some of the oldest student housing units at Barton Community College will be converted into space for physical education classes such as dance, yoga, Zumba and karate. The BCC Board of Trustees met Tuesday and accepted the only bid submitted to replace the roof on “housing units 3 and 4” and tear out the interior of the facility.
That bid, for $76,000, came from Brentwood Builders, Great Bend. Dean of Administration Mark Dean said the cost was about what he expected. Bid requests were made with the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce and advertised in the newspaper.
Similar work was done on older student housing units after new dorms were built. The first units became a practice area for the new wrestling program. Once Brentwood is done with its work, BCC staff will install the flooring and electrical, and paint the interior of the facility, which should be available for fall 2017 classes. There won’t be much to do, as the new facility won’t even need rest-rooms. Students will have access to the rest-rooms in the commons which is next door.
This project was included in this year’s budget. Dean said the classes that will use it haven’t had a fixed location in the past. Dance classes have used the gym, and Zumba exercise classes have meet in the Automotive classroom.
EduKan audit shows ‘material weaknesses’
The board also approved the EduKan audit for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2016. Esther Lahargoue, chief executive officer for EduKan, reported that the audit was done by Adams, Brown, Beran & Ball and the auditors reported three material weaknesses.
“We will move forward based on (the auditors’) findings,” Lahargoue said. The auditors have suggested a greater division of duties and more transparency. The CEO said the division of duties has been difficult because they have been understaffed. She added that monthly financial statements are now provided to the board of directors and there are more checks and balances.
EduKan is a consortium created by Barton and five other Kansas community colleges to offer online education.
Lahargoue has only been at EduKan since July of 2016. Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman noted that Dr. Adam John was there briefly and Dr. Mark Saver was there for many years before that.
“I can affirm that the ongoing monthly communication is considerably better,” Heilman told the trustees. While he recommended approval of the audit, he noted the importance of EduKan moving forward with more financial transparency as described.
EduKan offers access to over 200 courses and 16 degree and certification programs online through the six consortium colleges: Barton in Great Bend, Colby Community College, Dodge City Community College, Garden City Community College, Pratt Community College, and Seward County Community College in Liberal.
The six community colleges are EduKan’s stakeholders, he said. “What happens at EduKan happens at the college; it is an extension of the college.”
This time last year, then-CEO John reported a “significant deficiency” was found during the Fiscal Year 2015 audit for EduKan. A management letter from the auditors D. McMillen Chartered confirmed that problems in 2015 ended after Dr. John took over as CEO in June of 2015. John noted that EduKan’s enrollment and its assets had increased from FY 2014 to FY 2015. Dean also told the Great Bend Tribune last year that no money was missing.
At that time, the auditors said a “significant deficiency” is not as serious as a “material weakness,” but it is important enough to merit concern by those charged with governance.
In other action Tuesday:
• The college mission statement was revised, with eight new words added to the end. It now reads:
The Mission of Barton Community College is to provide quality educational opportunities that are accessible, affordable, continuously improving and student focused. Barton is driven to provide an educational system that is learning-centered, innovative, meets workforce needs, strengthens communities, and meets the needs of a diverse population.
• Four new employees were approved, filling vacant positions on the Barton County campus. They are: Matthew Connell, coordinator of Adult Education; Kaitlin McCammond, admissions representative; Kristin Geniuk, part-time data specialist in Student Support Services; and Cecelia Knowles, custodial supervisor.