WSCC board approves master plan

SCOTTVILLE — West Shore Community College Board of Trustees took action on Monday afternoon to approve the Facilities Master Plan as required by the State of

Members of West Shore Community College Board of Trustees discuss the Facilities Master Plan prior to approving it on Monday. The board selected the Recreation Center as the number one priority.

Members of West Shore Community College Board of Trustees discuss the Facilities Master Plan prior to approving it on Monday. The board selected the Recreation Center as the number one priority.

Michigan and Recreation Center renovation as the number one priority.

WSCC college president Scott Ward pointed out that a goal of the Facilities Master Plan is to develop methods of satisfying needs at the college identified by students, faculty and staff to direct the physical development of the college in ways that reflect their vision and mission for the future.

Ward told the board that the Recreation Center is utilized by the entire community.

“As the top priority, the Recreation Center serves a broad audience, including youth, and seniors, students and the community as well as the Michigan State Extension which is now on campus, and the West Shore career tech education classes,” said Ward.

Ward said the college has a donor who has said he is willing to donate $100,000 to $150,000 to support future programming at the recreation center which makes it an even greater selection as the top project. He said the number two project is renovation work at the Schoenherr Campus Center.

“I would like to see the college move forward on both of those projects next year after we finish the tech center work (renovations and expansion going on right now) next summer,” said Ward. “Christman Construction is here working on the Tech Center project, and if we package that one with these other two projects, (Christman) has indicated that we could save a couple hundred thousand dollars in cost.”

Trustee James Jensen, who also sits as chair of the administrative committee, said the recreation center still needs the classroom space.

“At the administrative committee we did discuss some things in terms of data that was being used for student count in terms of use of the recreation facility,” said Jensen. “President Ward responded to us that while we may have fewer students in some of the classes, we still need as many classrooms as before. He said we may have 19 or 20 students now instead of 22 or 23, so in terms of facility usage there isn’t any reduction.”

Jensen said he also inquired how the law enforcement classes that are currently held in the recreation center, but will eventually be moving to the college’s new Regional Public Safety Facility on U.S. 31 (former West Michigan Regional Blood and Cancer building), will impact the Recreation Center classroom space.

“I asked about the construction of the Regional Public Safety Facility in terms of housing our law enforcement program and while we do intend to transition to the new facility, President Ward said they would still utilize the classrooms at the Recreation Center now,” said Jensen.

Ward said Michigan State University Extension moved on campus and is utilizing more classrooms in the recreation center. He also said the West Shore ESD vocational education classes continue to expand and need space.

“MSU Extension is using some of those classrooms and the West Shore ESD program has expanded greatly over the last several years,” said Ward. “The ESD has close to 600 students coming to campus now and I believe when I first came to the college in 2009 it was around 300 students. So it is a sizable increase in use. I believe they have 14 programs and our hope is to eventually capture some of those students in the future with our programming.”

Ward told the board why it is important for WSCC to have a master plan in place.

• The State of Michigan requires a board approved Master Plan as a prerequisite for receiving state funding for any building projects;

• The plan helps the college package capital outlay requests for the State of Michigan; and

• The plan gives the college a logical, structured approach and allows them to prioritize the work, so it can be done in small pieces.

The board also took action on a 7-0 vote to approve the September financial statements. It included general fund expenditures of $952,216 and auxiliary fund expenditures in the amount of $91,646.

Board members also reviewed the quarterly investment report on investments the college has with various banks and credit unions in the area. This review is required by board policy 6022 and is reviewed in detail by the board administrative committee. No formal action is required by the board.

Jensen told the board that the college is starting to see an increase in their investments with better returns.

Approval was also given to the location for the off campus Nov. 19 WSCC board meeting. It will take place at 5 p.m. at Mason County Eastern as part of the board’s effort to visit the various parts of the district.

“Over the years we have visited every public school district in the college district at least once,” said Ward. “We have not been to Mason County Eastern since Nov. 2008, so my recommendation for this year is to hold our November Board of Trustees at that location.”

Ward said the college is looking at Kaleva Norman Dickson Schools for the spring meeting off campus.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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