The Navajo County Community College District Governing Board authorized employing a construction manager, and assistant, to oversee the planning, design and construction of new facilities and the repair and renovation of existing facilities on the Show Low – White Mountain Campus during its regular monthly meeting, November 20, in Holbrook.
In October, the board set aside $20 million from capital reserve funds for three distinct projects that may overlap and utilize different construction options. Hiring a construction manager, authorized at the board’s November 20 regular meeting, was the next step in moving the projects forward.
NPC’s Chief Business Officer Maderia Ellison indicated job descriptions for the new positions and a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for architectural firms are expected to be completed by January. The projects are intended to improve the educational environment for students by consolidating the automotive, welding and metal arts programs into an on-campus skills center; constructing a multi-story classroom and technology center; and repairing and renovating the existing learning center for expanded offerings in various programs.
Board member James Matteson stressed that by breaking the proposal into three distinct projects there would be more opportunities for local contractors, suppliers and workers to benefit from the expenditure of funds judiciously saved from tax revenue.
While the focus will be on facilities at the Show Low campus, additional projects on the Winslow campus are also under consideration.
Also during the November meeting, the board recognized Lakeside native Cindy Stirling as the Outstanding Alumnus for Fall 2018. Stirling, a graduate of NPC’s cosmetology program, is now one of the premier traveling makeup artists working internationally with high-profile production organizations for television and film and top-tier photographers. Her parents, Gene and Valerie Stirling, accepted the award on her behalf, as Cindy was traveling to Israel on an assignment. | Read more about Stirling at www.npc.edu/alumni.
Reviewing enrollment figures for the fall semester, Rickey Jackson, interim Vice President for Learning and Student Services (VPLSS), noted that the number of students served continues to increase. However, the lack of a full-time Computer Information Systems instructor and reduced participation in NAVIT and dual enrollment courses by Winslow High School students resulted in a drop in the full-time student equivalent (FTSE) at both the Winslow and Holbrook campuses.
Enrollment in the fire science and law enforcement academies at the Snowflake campus and emergency medical programs on the Show Low campus contributed to a 2.1 percent growth in FTSE. One FTSE is equal to 15 credit hours of instruction.
Expanded offerings in Early Childhood Studies and through the TALON Project, delivering college classes to rural high school using interactive technology, resulted in higher enrollment at the Hopi, Kayenta, Springerville and Whiteriver centers.
“The decline in regular FTSE across our service area is a concern because regular FTSE is based on the students that are attending on our campuses and centers,” explained Jackson.
The board also reviewed the audits for the Northeastern Arizona Training Center and NPC Friends and Family, both separate legal entities but considered component units of the college for financial reporting. Independent auditor Brian Richards indicated both audits were fair, accurate and reflected conformity with accepted accounting principles.
CBO Ellison presented an overview of the budget assumptions and guidelines to be used in developing next year’s budget. The calendar calls for adopting a preliminary budget in April, with final adoption hearings in May. Ellison projects a decline in property tax revenue, but a slight increase in state aid primarily from equalization funding.
Colleen Readel, the vice chair of the Strategic Planning and Accreditation Steering Committee, presented the strategic priorities that will be used to focus budget expenditures. The college will be focusing on preparing documentation for an accreditation visit in November 2019 and improving student experiences through enrollment management, communication and staff training.
VPLSS Jackson informed the board of supplemental funding for the NAU GEAR UP project to assist graduates of Winslow and Holbrook high schools with college persistence. Students enrolled in the program and who have completed specific activities will be eligible for a $200 award to be used to cover spring 2019 costs.
CBO Ellison informed the board of the selection of an engineering and architectural firm to develop plans to replace the heating and air conditioning (HVAC) units in the Aspen Center on the Show Low campus. This would be the first of a multi-year project to replace HVAC units at multiple locations that use a refrigerant no longer legally available. Once the design and new equipment specifications are developed, the board will need to approve the actual replacement project.
During the Faculty Association’s report, Dr. Michael Solomonson outlined some of the recent activities in the Fine and Performing Arts Division which he chairs. Performances of My Fair Lady set a new attendance record, with 1,128 tickets sold for the six shows. Community members created 189 bowls, a new record, for the Empty Bowls Project, coordinated by Art professor Magda Gluszek. The November 16 fundraiser netted a record $2,748 for The Love Kitchen in Pinetop. Film and Digital Video professor Mark Ford has been working with a group creating a documentary on the historic Winslow theatre. Original drawings by Art instructor Peterson Yazzie for his book The Hogan that My Great Grandfather Built are on display in the lobby of the Performing Arts Center.
“We had 68 wonderful applications for nine scholarships for the spring semester,” noted Betsyann Wilson, executive director of NPC Friends and Family. A team of reviewers is now going over the applications so that $23,500 can be awarded to deserving students.
Student Government Association President Jerrica Flake provided an overview of the group’s activities and plans for the coming semester. SGA is currently conducting a canned food drive and is looking into creating food pantries at every NPC location to benefit students in need.
President Mark Vest presented the annual “Report to the Governor,” which highlights some of the accomplishments and challenges facing the college. He and Jackson indicated a new college procedure guaranteeing free speech on campus is being distributed for review by college employees prior to implementation to meet state legislature-mandated requirements.
The next regularly-scheduled meeting will be Tuesday, December 18, at 10 a.m. in the Tiponi Community Center on the Holbrook – Painted Desert Campus, 2251 E. Navajo Blvd. The board will meet for a study session to perform an annual self-evaluation at 9:15. Copies of the agenda will be posted online, at least 24 hours in advance.
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