The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of trustees held its regular meeting on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, at 5:30 p.m. in the board room of the Administration Center.

Jo Skarda, board secretary, noted that board of trustees member Jane Ernst, of Greenfield, completed her oath of office affidavit as prescribed by law. Ernst replaces Dennis Davis, of Greenfield, on the SWCC board of trustees.

A public hearing was held for the college’s fiscal year 2020 budget. No oral or written objections or petitions were heard or submitted. The board approved the budget as presented.

Tia Samo, SWCC chief financial officer, spoke to the board regarding recommendations for student housing costs for the 2019-20 academic year. The board approved Samo’s proposal to keep the room and board fees and student housing deposit at the same rates in place during the 2018-19 academic year: apartment-style housing rates, $3,830 per semester in Spartan Court, Spartan Hall, and Spartan Suites; traditional-style housing rates, $3,305 per semester in West Hall and Wilson Hall; and the student housing deposit will remain at $150.

The board appointed Fred Shearer, board member from Corning, as the college’s alternate to the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees (IACCT). Prior to his retirement from the board, Davis was SWCC’s alternate for IACCT. Board member Jerry Smith is the designated IACCT representative.

In personnel, the board approved the resignation of Dale Barnett, SWCC electrician, effective June 28, 2019. In January, Barnett was honored for 40 years of service to the institution.

Tom Lesan, SWCC vice president of economic development, spoke to the board regarding the science lab renovation project planned for the college’s Instructional Center. Lesan told the board there are a complete set of plans and a spec book for the project so board members may review the plan. The total cost of the science lab renovation project is slightly less than $1 million. Lesan said the current science labs are essentially the same as they were when the Instructional Center was constructed in the early 1970s. During renovation, Lesan stated a mobile lab will be utilized for science courses. The project is slated for completion by the start of the second semester in January 2020. Following Lesan’s report, the board approved the resolution tentatively approving the plans, specifications, form of contract, and estimate of total cost and set a public hearing on April 9, 2019, at 5:30 p.m., in the Administration Center, board room.

Lesan next spoke about the ag center addition project planned for the SWCC ag site. This project is estimated at a total cost slightly more than $1 million. Lindsay Stoaks, assistant vice president of instruction, talked to the board about SWCC’s agricultural programs. Stoaks said the ag programs have seen significant growth during the past several years. Currently there are 187 prospective students for the 2019-20 academic year. The addition to the ag facility would provide classroom space, a mud room, and faculty offices. Lesan said the classrooms would be reinforced and could serve as shelters during severe weather. Following the reports of Lesan and Stoaks, the board approved the plans, specification, form of contract, and estimate of total cost for the ag center addition project. A public hearing was set for April 9, 2019, at 5:35 p.m., in the SWCC Administration Center, board room.

Dr. Tony Cass, board of trustees president from Creston, noted that at the request of Dr. Barb Crittenden, SWCC president, the CEO evaluation would be held in closed session.

During the president’s report, Dr. Barb Crittenden, SWCC president, told the board spring 2019 commencement will be held on Friday, May 10, 2019, at 7:30 p.m., in the Student Center gymnasium.

Bill Taylor, SWCC vice president of instruction, notified the board the carpentry and building trades class will be constructing a house on Lot 1 in the college subdivision on the northeast side of Creston for the 2019-20 academic year. According to Taylor, the house will be approximately 1,500 square feet with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an unfinished basement. Upon completion in June 2020, the house will be sold.

Smith reported briefly regarding the March IACCT meeting.

The board then went into closed session.