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Board of Trustees News: With state budget stalled, CLC to fund more costs

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Nov 19, 2015

 

To keep construction of a new science building underway on the Grayslake Campus, the CLC Board of Trustees voted Nov. 17 to authorize spending an additional $2.2 million on the project.

The authorization comes after the board voted last month to fund about $1.45 million in normally state-supported costs for programs providing English as a Second Language, GED and career program support services throughout the Spring Semester.

Though Gov. Bruce Rauner this summer halted construction of state-funded projects pending passage of a budget, construction of CLC’s science building has been proceeding by tapping into $12.4 million the college has placed on deposit with the Capital Development Board toward funding the local share of the $30 million project.

The college projects that the local cost share could be exhausted over the winter and an additional $2.2 million is needed to weatherize the building to prevent structural damage.

In a related action, the board also approved funding Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP Grants) for students with financial need throughout the fiscal year, for a total of up to $840,000.

CLC will fund the additional costs from college reserves, according to David Agazzi, vice president for administrative affairs.

“We are hopeful that the state will reimburse the college for the additional expenditure after a budget is passed,” Board Chairman Dr. William M. Griffin said after the meeting. “Regardless, we needed to take the funding actions. Some of our neediest students are at risk because of the MAP grants, and we need to weatherize the science building to protect the investment we’ve already made.”

CLC has received no state funding for Fiscal Year 2016, which began July 1, 2015, and runs through June 30, 2016. In a fiscal report on the first quarter of the fiscal year, David Agazzi said that the college had $38 million in revenue from tuition and fees, property tax and the replacement tax but had not received the expected $2 million from the state credit hour grant. Expenditures to date total $18.8 million, slightly higher than the projected $18.5 million, he said.

Master plan update

Though impacted by the state budget situation, construction progress is still being made on the $163 million Sustainable Campus Master Plan, said Dorothy McCarty, construction manager with Cotter Consulting, which is serving as the college’s construction oversight agent on CLC-funded construction.

Installation of an energy-saving geothermal system will be completed by the end of the year, construction of a new café and core remodeling by July 2016 and renovations of the A and B wing by December 2017. These components are being funded through college reserves and bonding.

Progress is more doubtful on two projects receiving state funding: the $30 million science building and a $48 million expansion of the Lakeshore Campus in Waukegan. While the state budget is in limbo, planning on the Waukegan building has been halted, McCarty said. If state funding is released for the science building, construction could be completed by August 2016, she said.

Foundation update

The CLC Foundation awarded more than $900,000 in scholarships to 509 students in the last fiscal year, according to Karen L. Schmidt, the Foundation’s executive director. Schmidt provided the trustees with an overview of the organization’s work in support of students.

Schmidt said that the Foundation raised $1.2 million last year and its endowment balance is now $1.3 million. In the current fiscal year, the Foundation is set also to award $1.2 million to fund scholarships and grants.

According to Schmidt, the Foundation has set a goal of raising $1 million each year to fund scholarships and to increase its endowment to $2 million by 2020.

2015 tax levy approved

The Board of Trustees approved an aggregate tax levy of $68.3 million for the 2015 tax year, a 3.4 percent increase from 2014. According to David Agazzi, vice president for administrative affairs, the tax rate for capped funds will be approximately 31 cents per $100 of equalized assessed valuation.

The Lake County Clerk will determine the actual amount of taxes to be extended on the 2015 levy after applying the tax cap formula, including adding new property to the tax base.

Board objectives and policies

The board approved a new policy (930) providing a post-retirement incentive to non-bargaining unit employees who have worked full-time for the college 15 years or more and declare a retirement date at least two years in advance. The incentive, which does not add to an employee’s pension, is being offered to encourage staff transition planning, according to Agazzi.

Purchasing

Under non-biddables, the trustees approved the following purchases:

  • A contract for $127,000 from Iskalis American Floor Show of Gurnee to provide flooring and installation services.
  • A three-year contract totaling $65,000 with College Scheduler, LLC of Redding, Calif., for class scheduling software.

 Human resources

In response to the upcoming retirement of David Agazzi, the board appointed Julia Guiney as interim vice president for administrative affairs, effective Jan. 4, 2016. She currently serves as executive director of human resources.

In addition, the board appointed Michael Welch as interim director of facilities, effective Nov. 18. He currently serves as project manager, construction management, in facilities.