Creston— The Southwestern Community College board of trustees met on Tues., January 12, 2016, at 5:30 p.m. in the board room of the Administration Center. 

In personnel, the board approved the hiring of Susannah Miller as agriculture instructor for the 2016-17 academic year.  Miller has been an agriculture education instructor and FFA advisor at Murray Community High School in Murray since 2006.

The board approved the early retirement requests of SWCC employees Cheryl Blazek, emergency services and health related programs coordinator, and Sarah Smith, Red Oak Center coordinator.  Blazek has served in the college’s adult and continuing education department since 1999.  She was hired at SWCC as an EMS coordinator prior to moving into her current role.  She has also been an adjunct instructor for the college.  Her last day of employment will be February 7, 2016.  Smith, who was hired at the college in 1996 as satellite manager before moving into her current role, will finish at the college on June 30, 2016.  Smith has been an adjunct instructor for the college as well.

Tom Lesan, SWCC vice president for economic development, gave the board a construction update regarding the 200-bay renovation project in the Instructional Center.  Lesan said the abatement process is complete and re-construction can now begin.  According to Lesan, windows should be installed by the end of the week, weather permitting.  The completion date is now estimated at March 1.

Lesan told the board of plans for the reconstruction of Spartan Drive, the road wrapping around the west side of the college’s Instructional Center.  The reconstruction project would involve the roadway as well as parking areas.  Lesan said the roadway portion of the project would be funded in part by $271,000 in road-use funds from the Iowa Department of Transportation.  The reconstruction of the parking areas would be entirely funded by the college.  The total project cost is estimated at $726,000.  Lesan explained the plan is to bid the project in April or May.  Work will then happen in phases with the first phase being the replacement of the most damaged section of the roadway outside the automotive area, northwest of the Instructional Center.  Garden & Associates of Creston, who has completed the preliminary engineering work, estimates the project will take approximately 12 weeks with ideal weather conditions.

Brandi Shay, South Central Iowa Small Business Development Center (SBDC) regional director, presented an overview of current SBDC activities to the board.  The South Central Iowa SBDC serves the following counties:  Adair, Adams, Clarke, Decatur, Madison, Montgomery, Ringgold, Taylor, and Union.  The SBDC, which is housed on the SWCC campus, assists small business owners with starting businesses, growing businesses, or counseling related to businesses.

Jerry Smith, SWCC board member from Osceola and Iowa Association of Community College Trustees (IACCT) representative, gave a brief report on the recent IACCT meeting.  MJ Dolan, IACCT executive director, was also in attendance.  She reminded the board of the upcoming IACCT Conference, scheduled for February 21-23, in Des Moines and gave the board a preview for the upcoming state legislative session.