The Southwestern Community College board of trustees held its regular meeting on Tues., March 10, 2015, at 5:30 p.m. in the board room of the college’s Administration Center.

A public hearing was held for the college’s fiscal year 2016 budget.  No oral or written objections or petitions were heard or submitted.  The board approved the budget as presented.

The board then held a public hearing for bids received for the Allied Health and Science Center Improvement Project (Phase 1).  The simulation lab being constructed during this project is part of a federal grant received by Southwestern Community College and the other 14 community colleges in Iowa.  The lab will include full-body wireless patient simulators, which will enable SWCC instructors to enhance learning opportunities found in classroom and clinical settings by creating high risk scenarios, such as heart attacks, head injuries, respiratory arrest, or trauma from accidents. 

Tom Lesan, SWCC vice president of economic development, reported one bid, $124,850, was received from Winterstien Construction of Creston.  Lesan said a competitive quote of $28,110 was received from Camblin Mechanical for that portion of the project.  Lesan stated the architect had estimated the total project cost to be $150,000.  Following discussion, the board approved the bid from Winterstien Construction.  Work will begin immediately. 

Lesan then spoke to the board about the college’s application for Accelerated Career Education (ACE) funding for 2015-16.  The ACE program assists Iowa’s community colleges in establishing or expanding programs that train individuals in the occupations most needed by Iowa businesses.  Lesan said upon board approval, Southwestern’s ACE funds will be used to increase capacity in the college’s management information systems (MIS) program.  Specifically, the funds will be used to make improvements in the 200 bay hallway of the Instructional Center to accommodate the MIS program.  Precision Optical Group of Creston has agreed to partner with the college for this project.

The board approved the ACE agreement as presented by Lesan.

A public hearing will be set for the ACE project at the April board of trustees meeting with bids being received at the May board meeting.  Lesan said the anticipated completion date for the project will be September 14, 2015.

Next on the board agenda was approval of a 28E agreement with Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) for a joint 260E issuance.  On this topic, Lesan stated there are two companies—Iowa Steel of Osceola and PPI of Corning and Lenox—with operations in both SWCC and DMACC’s districts.  Both companies are interested in 260E projects and have requested to do one issuance.  Lesan said the proposed 28E agreement will allow the two colleges to enter into a joint 260E issuance.  Per the 28E agreement, Southwestern will be responsible for all activities with companies in SWCC’s region and DMACC will be responsible for companies in their region.  Lesan said the agreement was reviewed by attorneys for both colleges and has been sent to the Iowa Economic Development Authority.  Following Lesan’s explanation, the board approved the agreement, making this the first joint issuance ever completed in the state of Iowa. 

The board then moved on to consideration of photo copier bids for the Copy Center on the Creston campus.  The current lease agreements for the college’s copy machines will expire on April 1, 2015.  Seven proposals for new copiers were received and evaluated.  Following review, the college’s administration recommended to the board that a proposal from Marco of Urbandale be accepted.  The board passed the administration’s recommendation and the college will move forward with Marco.

Beth Kulow, SWCC dean of student services, spoke to the board regarding a proposed increase in student housing costs for the 2015-16 academic year.  Kulow said the proposed rate for apartment-style housing, including room and board, would be $3,225 per semester and traditional housing would go to $2,850 per semester.  This includes $800 in café cash to be used for meals at the Spartan Café.  The board approved the changes in student housing costs as presented.

In personnel, the board accepted the resignation of Kim Weehler, nursing instructor, effective at the end of her current contract.  Weehler has been with the college since 2006.

During the president’s report, board members were informed spring commencement will be held on Fri., May 8, at 7:30 p.m., in the Student Center.

Jerry Smith, board member from Osceola, gave a brief report on the recent Iowa Association for Community College Trustees (IACCT) meeting in Des Moines.  He also reminded the board of the IACCT Conference from July 22-24 in Ottumwa.

The board then went in to closed session to complete the annual CEO evaluation for SWCC President Dr. Barb Crittenden.