Discussions begin for WMC capital improvements

August 24, 2018 by Anonymous

Enrollment growth in Northland Pioneer College’s nursing and allied health programs and a desire to bring automotive and welding programs onto the main Show Low campus triggered preliminary discussions on August 21 with the Navajo County Community College District Governing Board on how to provide additional classrooms for these programs.

During the board’s regular monthly meeting, David Huish, NPC’s director of facilities, provided an overview of where additional facilities could be constructed on the nearly 24-acre Show Low campus. In addition to expanding classroom space, the college also needs to do extensive foundation repairs to the Learning Center, requiring relocation of the campus library, advising and classrooms.

Plans to expand classroom space at the campus have been ongoing for over a decade. The board has annually been setting aside capital improvement funds to build and repair the structures without any long-term debt.

The decision to build and in what sequence begins with the board, emphasized Huish. Board member James Matteson, an engineer, described how that decision impacts the staging of the projects. “Do we build a new Learning Center first, then repair and remodel the existing building into space for nursing and allied health?” asked Huish. He indicated construction of a skills center to allow relocation of the automotive and welding shops from the industrial park could be done at the same time, which could result in savings if the same general contractor was doing both projects. Matteson suggested there could be additional savings by utilizing a “design-build” concept, like the City of Show Low did for the new library and police department facility. The design and construction will probably take at least two years, once the board gives the approval to proceed with the project.

In other action, the board accepted the resignation of George Joe, who represents District 2 which includes the Hopi Reservation and a portion of Winslow. Joe has moved outside of the district and can no longer represent the district on the 5-member elected board. “I have asked Navajo County School Superintendent Jalyn Gerlich to begin the process for appointment of a replacement board member,” explained NPC President Mark Vest. Announcements seeking interested candidates have already been distributed. “I’m hoping we’ll have a replacement by the board’s September 18 meeting, but the timing of a replacement is dependent on the appointment process,” Vest said. The appointed member will serve until the November 2020 general election.

The board also approved the purchase of Veeam Backup and Replication applications, used to backup essential college records, and renewal of CISCO maintenance contracts for infrastructure supporting the college’s distance education systems.

Chief Business Officer Maderia Ellison asked the board to approve a budget-neutral adjustment in the Fiscal Year 2018-19 budget. The board approved the 2018-19 budget on June 5, but it did not include the final state appropriations figures, which were higher by $199,700. Once the annual budget is approved no increases can be made, so other adjustments were made resulting in a budget neutral adjustment. The adjusted budget was approved unanimously.

As part of the consent agenda, the board renewed dual enrollment agreements with Holbrook, Joseph City, Miami, Valley Sanders, Whiteriver and Winslow high schools. Under the agreements, students receive college credit for classes taught at their high school by NPC-certified instructors. A separate agreement renewed participation by the Apache County Sheriff’s Office in NPC’s Northeastern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Academy (NALETA).

Reports to the Board

CBO Ellison reviewed the monthly financial report for the past fiscal year, which ended June 30, which showed higher investment income than was anticipated by over $400,000. Expenditures were at 85 percent of budget, in part due to unfilled positions and timing of major improvement projects.

Dr. Judy Yip-Reyes, NPC’s new director of institutional effectiveness, outlined the goals and objections of her department in supplying mandated reports, analyzing data for internal planning and in preparation for NPC's accreditation visit in November 2019.

Betsyann Wilson, executive director of NPC Friends and Family, reported on the successful Disc Golf tournament on August 11. Wilson hopes to make the tournament a destination event to help promote tourism in the area. Friends and Family also awarded six Summit Healthcare scholarships to NPC nursing students, and seven scholarships to Pharmacy Technician students to help with expenses this fall. Volunteers are now gearing up for the Pedal the Petrified bicycle ride on September 15. A full field of 250 riders are expected for the tour ride in Petrified Forest National Park.

The Strategic Planning and Accreditation Steering Committee (SPASC) will be focusing on common goals, using analytics to draft priorities to be presented to the board for approval noted Rickey Jackson, interim Vice President for Learning and Student Services.

President Vest noted the college is hosting “Active Threat” training at each of its locations in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies. Students and staff are being encouraged to attend the approximate two-hour training. Check with the campus/center office for dates, times and location of the training.

The board plans to meet on the Show Low campus on September 11 for a planning retreat. No formal action will be taken, but members will have the opportunity to tour the campus and discuss possible alternatives. Vest thanked the board for their willingness to meet for the planning retreat. “This is an important step forward for the college, to talk about new facilities and how to plan for the future,” he noted.

The next regularly-scheduled monthly meeting will be Tuesday, September 18, at 10 a.m. in the Tiponi Community Center on the Holbrook – Painted Desert Campus, 2251 E. Navajo Blvd. Copies of the agenda will be posted online, at least 24 hours in advance.

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