Board approves new construction

First Posted: 5/11/2009

The Surry Community College Board of Trustees approved a plan for the layout for a 1,000-seat teaching auditorium and a three-story classroom building to be constructed near the viticulture and enology center on Monday night.
Representatives from Little Diversified Architectural Consulting presented two different layout plans to the board and the members chose to approve one of them. In the approved design, labeled Project 1722, the Shelton-Badgett North Carolina Center for Viticulture and Enology will lie on campus adjacent to Main Street.
The auditorium will lie behind the viticulture center with the two adjoined by a courtyard. The lobby of the auditorium will face the viticulture center and courtyard as well as the main road through campus. The stage will sit on the end of the building closest to the downtown area with a dressing room area behind. The auditorium also will have a balcony to ensure that no seat is more than 80 feet from the stage.
The classroom building will sit behind the auditorium, further into campus, connected to the auditorium by a breezeway.
With the layout for the footprints of the buildings decided, the representatives for Little will begin to form more detailed drawings of the buildings to present to the board.
A pre-construction meeting for the actual viticulture and enology center, for which ground breaking ceremony was held May 1, was also part of Mondays meeting to finalize the paperwork for the project. Construction is expected to begin in the next month.
George Sappenfield, vice president of corporate and continuing education, also spoke to the board about the groundbreaking ceremony.
That had to be one of the best events the college has put on, he said. Were ready to rock and roll.
Jamie Childress, vice president of student development, asked the board to approve a change in the payment policy for college placement tests, which are required for students and offered by the College Board. These tests are used to determine in what level class the students should be placed by testing them on topics such as reading, sentence skills and college math.
At present the college does not charge students to take these tests. Students may also retake the test every 90 days in order to improve their scores. Each portion of the tests costs $2, with an entire test costing $10. That fee is absorbed by the college, coming to a cost of around $8,000 each year for the school.
As the number of students taking the test has increased as well as the cost of test, which has risen $3 in three years, the cost is becoming more for the school each year. Childress suggested that the board approve a $5 charge for students for each retest, with the college still paying for the initial test. By doing this, she hoped the students would take the tests more seriously and be better prepared for them.
It will help our bottom line we hope, as well as the students, she said.
However, some of the board members felt that this proposal was still too generous.
We ought to charge what it costs to take the dadgum test from the get-go. That would make them take it seriously, said Dan Stone, vice chairman.
Stone made the motion to charge students the cost of the test beginning with the first test, effective July 1. That would mean that if a student took one portion of one test, they would be charged $2 while if they took a whole test, they would be charged $10. The college would make no profit. Mike Royster, board member, seconded the motion before the rest of the board approved it.
Childress also presented plans for pandemic flu, communicable diseases and business continuity.
The business continuity plan was first introduced at the school in 2006-07 and is up to be revised for the 2009-10 year. It is based on a FEMA document. The plan is in place to deal with any disasters that may affect the school, such as the forced closure of a building for an extended period.
The pandemic flu plan was established to determine the period of impact of an outbreak. The college would be affected for about six to eight weeks according to the plan created by Anne Hennis, associate vice president of planning, research and assessment. It also creates procedures to reduced the impact of a pandemic flu outbreak. No specific details about what those affects might be were given during Mondays meeting, nor where in specifics of the plan were mentioned during the meeting.
The communicable disease plan was established to deal with students with diseases such as AIDS, chicken pox and tuberculosis. According to Childress, there have not been any self-reported cases of these diseases on campus. These students would not be discriminated against and can still enroll in classes at the campus as long as they are not in a contagious state.
With the existing travel restrictions because of budget constraints, which may or may not carry into the next fiscal year, the board discussed having a presence at the upcoming ACCT Leadership Congress in San Francisco in October.
As tight as our budget is, I dont think we could dip into the travel funds, said Charlie Madison, board member.
I think this year that we should just suck it up and not go, said Bob Comer, board member.
Contact Morgan Wall at [email protected] or 719-1929.

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