WC Board names new building, elects officers

Posted Tuesday, Jul. 30, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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After recently approving a policy on naming buildings at Weatherford College, the WC Board of Trustees named the newest building under construction there the Don Allen Health Science Building after a donation from the Jerry Durant Auto Group.

At it’s last meeting July 11, the board approved the request since Jerry and Vickie Durant had asked the college to honor their longtime employee Don Allen. The Durants committed $400,000 to the college’s capital campaign, making their names eligible to be placed on a building.

In what can only be considered an odd coincidence, Allen’s first meeting as one of the newest board members was the same day the item came up for vote. That caused Vice Chairman Joel Watson pause.

“Nothing against [Don Allen] but I don’t like the idea of promoting one of our own and the image it might portray,” Watson explained.

Watson said it seemed “hurried” to be naming the building when the groundbreaking won’t even take place until Sept. 12.

Chairman Frank Martin and other board members said they didn’t see a problem with it. Additionally, in response to a gift from Gary and Linda Snow, a classroom in the Academic Building was proposed to be named in honor of the Snows. The board approved both namings, with Watson abstaining from the vote.

In addition to Allen, Mac Smith took his seat on the board for the first time at the meeting. The board then realigned with Martin and Watson retaining their positions and electing Dr. Luke Haynes as secretary/treasurer after trustee Trey Cobb did not seek that position.

Board members then received an updated report on the 2013-14 preliminary budget from Andra Cantrell, Vice President of Financial Affairs.

The proposed budget was presented at $53,270,294, with the anticipation of increased state funding of $597,601. Travel and supplies were reduced by four percent and five percent, respectively. The budget includes a small raise for all full-time faculty and staff. No recommendation for an increase in ad valorem taxes was made.

The board will approve the final budget in August.

In his President’s Report, Dr. Kevin Eaton reported to the board that summer enrollment is up 147 students, or 5.3 percent over this time last year; contact hours were up to 7,014 (2.5 percent) over this time last year.

Eaton said the same trend appears to be occurring in early fall 2013 enrollment numbers, with enrollment up 8.2 percent over this time last year, and contact hours up 8.1 percent.

The board also “reluctantly” authorized the payment of the Teacher Retirement System retirement shortfall of $399,408 for fiscal year ending 2012 and $458,580 for 2013. Cantrell explained that the money was “in reserve” as attorneys and the Texas Association of Community Colleges were negotiating how much schools would be responsible for after legislatures finished the last session. The result was that schools would be paying 50 percent from now on.

Board members also:

• Heard a report from Jarred Jones of Steele Freeman on the construction progress of the new Health Science Building: foundation piers drilled by month’s end; slab to be laid in late August-early September and set for building completion June 2014;

• Heard from Jim Swan of Johnson Controls regarding the energy savings contract: 80 a/c units have been replaced; solar window film completed across campus; interior lighting complete and exterior lighting; Stuart Field now irrigated with well water; rest of campus irrigation ongoing; two new water wells to be drilled with a water storage tank near the City’s water tower.

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