The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of trustees met on Tues., August 11, 2015, at 5:30 p.m. in the board room of the college’s Administration Center.

Bill Taylor, SWCC vice president of instruction, explained to the board that the college is preparing to collaborate with the Union County Development Association (UCDA) once again this year for the college’s carpentry and building trades program. Through the partnership, a home will be constructed on UCDA-owned property at 403 South Elm Street in Creston. Taylor said the partnership allows the college to provide required lab experience for students without incurring the expense and risk associated with building a spec home. Taylor said the project budget would not exceed $104,000. Any additional costs would require the mutual consent of both parties. Following discussion, the board authorized the college’s administration to move forward with the partnership.

The board approved the college’s annual dues to the Higher Learning Commission.

In personnel, the board accepted the employment of Mark Bonneville as a new faculty member. Bonneville will instruct the electrical technology program beginning with the fall 2015 semester. Most recently, Bonneville was the owner of Home and Farm Electrical Company of Lorimor.

Dr. Barb Crittenden, SWCC president, presented information to the board outlining the institution’s accomplishments related to the FY2011-15 Strategic Plan. Beth Kulow, SWCC dean of students, presented a draft copy of the FY2016-20 Strategic Plan for review by the board. Following review and discussion, the board approved the strategic plan as presented.

Tom Lesan, SWCC vice president of economic development, reviewed the college’s Five Year Facilities Plan with the board. Lesan discussed recent improvements being made on campus and discussion also centered on the continuing need for additional student housing. Housing this fall is once again at capacity at SWCC. Additional housing is planned in years two and four of the plan. Following Lesan’s report, the board approved the Five Year Facilities Plan as presented.

The board approved the purchase of a Ford F-650 Odyssey Turtle Top, 35-passenger shuttle. Lesan noted that with the growth in enrollment and additional activities for students, more transportation options are needed. The shuttle will be purchased from Master’s Transportation, Inc., in Dexter, the only company meeting all specifications for the quote.

Lesan reported to the board on progress being made in the 200 bay renovation project. Lesan said construction is progressing, however there have been some delays; therefore, project completion is slated for the week of September 28. The original completion date was estimated at September 14. Some college classes will be moved during the interim, as SWCC begins fall semester on August 26.

During the board members’ reports, Crittenden congratulated Jerry Smith, board member from Osceola and SWCC Iowa Association of Community College Trustees (IACCT) representative, for receiving the 2015 John P. Kibbie Award during the IACCT annual conference held in Ottumwa in July. The award is given annually to an Iowa community college leader to recognize extraordinary achievements, influence, and dedication to Iowa’s two-year college mission.