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WSCC campus ‘looking sharp’

10/23 | TowerPinkster

WSCC campus ‘looking sharp’ Board prioritizes projects

Thanks to two capital outlay millages voters in the West Shore Community College district have passed over the years, and to good facilities plans, proper execution of those plans and proper maintenance, WSCC’s facilities are in good shape and deferred maintenance is being caught up on.

The tax observation was provided to the WSCC board by Treasurer Bruce Smith after hearing the facilities update plan presented by Tom Mathison of Tower Pinkster which has done the annual report in recent years.

“Overall, the campus is looking really sharp. The improvements you have made have been planned, have been executed well, are maintained well and it shows in the data,” he told the board.

Projects not only make the campus more attractive, he said they fit the college’s mission of assuring student success.

Smith, in thanking the voters, noted that if there wasn’t the capital millage, the $1.2 million needed each year to maintain the facilities would be money coming at least in part from the general fund, making less money available for education services. Thus, he said, the dedicated capital improvement millage directly affects the college’s ability to meet its goal of assuring student success.

TECH CENTER WORK TO PPRIORITY for funding

Mathison presented this year’s priority list of projects, a list WSCC President Charles Dillon said could change depending on a number of factors during the year.

Topping the priority list the board approved Monday for sending to the state as required by Nov. 1 for consideration in the state’s next capital outlay budget is remodeling and renovation of the 66,000 squarefoot technical center at an expected cost of just over $4 million. If the state accepts it for inclusion in its capital outlay budget, the college and state would split the cost of proposed work with the college’s $2 million share coming from that dedicated millage.

The list presented Monday set as priorities:

1. Expansion and remodeling of tech center at cost of $4.09 million

2. Remodeling of recreation center at cost of $3.39 million. This project topped the list last year, but after a storm heavily damaged the roof which has since been replaced, it reduced the priority this year. The primary need now is in the pool area where the ceiling and pipes need attention and in remodeling two classrooms for use possibly by the Career Technical Education program.

3. Remodeling of administration center at a cost of $1.7 million. A reworking of the north lounge area where the fireplace pit separates space into two areas is being considered. By removing or minimizing the fire pit space one larger area could be used for larger gatherings.

4. Installing a campus-wide emergency to even out power and provide emergency power in the case of outages at cost of $750,000.

5. Remodeling of the upstairs at the Schoenherr Student Center at a cost of $397,000 to improve room for the testing center located there.

6. Connecting to municipal water at a cost of $2 million. The water currently is safe, but not desirable and there are upcoming changes in water requirements, the board was told.

7. Various site improvements including possibly replacing the dam at the campus pond, and work on trails, fields, roads and walkways at a cost of $1.97 million. “The dam has performed its life span, it needs some work,” Scott Ward, vice president of administrative services, said. Dillon said the dam could be replaced this year if it shows signs of failing. Ward said it is in this year’s capital improvement budget.

8. Technology improvements at an estimated cost of $500,000. In particular, the plan calls for adding space to the welding center and concentrating on classrooms in the southern portion of the building, the main corridor and rest rooms to make all more student centered.

Overall, the price tag for all needs was set at $14,862 million overall, down from $19 million a year ago.

“You are making significant progress” Mathison said.

While the board approved submitting the priority list to the state by Nov. 1, it will take up approving of the plan at its Nov. 18 meeting. 

By Steve Begnoche Managing Editor, Ludington Daily News