Creston— The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of directors met electronically on Tuesday, July 14, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in the president’s office of the Administration Center for their regular board meeting.

Bill Taylor, SWCC vice president of instruction, talked to the board regarding a proposal to partner with Habitat for Humanity of Union County for the fourth year on construction of a house during the 2015-16 school year by SWCC’s high school building trades Career Academy program in Creston.  Taylor explained to the board that partnering with Habitat for Humanity allows the college to provide required lab experience for students without incurring expenses and risks associated with building spec homes.  Students from area high schools are eligible to enroll in the high school carpentry and building trades Career Academy program.  The board authorized the college to enter into the building partnership agreement.  The Habitat for Humanity house will be built at 308/310 South Walnut Street in Creston.  With the agreement, Habitat for Humanity of Union County will pay for all materials for constructing the home.

Taylor then spoke to the board regarding the college’s ongoing partnership with the Clarke County Development Corporation (CCDC) for the Clarke/Central Decatur High School carpentry and building trades Career Academy program.  With this proposal, a home will be constructed on CCDC-owned property at 1823 Primrose Lane in Osceola.  CCDC will pay for all materials associated with construction of the home.  After listening to Taylor’s presentation, the board authorized the SWCC administration to enter into a Building Partnership Contract with CCDC as presented.  

Tom Lesan, SWCC vice president for economic development, reported to the board regarding progress being made in the Instructional Center 200-bay renovation project.  Lesan said there have been several change orders during the process; however, he said this is to be expected when renovating a 50-year old building.  He noted that, due to a suggestion from the State Fire Marshall, the main hallway will be sprinkled during the current construction phase, as opposed to waiting until phase five when sprinklers were originally scheduled for installation.

The board discussed implementing an electronic format for board materials in the future.  With this new system, board materials would be e-mailed to board members prior to the meeting for review.  During the meetings, laptop computers would be available for board member use.  The consensus of the board was to move forward with the electronic format beginning with the September 2015 board meeting.

Jerry Smith, SWCC board member from Osceola and Iowa Association of Community College Trustees (IACCT) representative, talked briefly to the board about recent occurrences in the state legislature.  According to Smith, at the time of the last SWCC board meeting the legislature had approved approximately $58,000 in one-time funding for the college, however, this has since been vetoed by the governor.