Trustees approve funds for bleachers

 The renovation of Arley Bryant Gymnasium is moving forward after the Cloud County Community College board of trustees approved a $218,000 bid Tuesday night to replace the bleachers.
 The replacement of the bleachers is part of a $450,000 gym renovation project. In August 2014, the board approved spending $250,000 to match a $200,000 grant from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation.
 Vice President for Administrative Services Amy Lange said the work will be completed in the summer. The new electric telescoping bleachers will feature contoured seats, chairbacks in several sections on the south side, a crow’s nest for home and visiting team’s audio-visual needs, and handrails in the stair aisles.
 Additionally, Lange said, vinyl end curtains featuring Thor, Cloud’s mascot, will prevent spectators from accessing the area beneath the bleachers.
Kansas Contract Design, Wichita, has the current contract with the National Joint Powers Association’s purchasing consortium, of which Cloud is a member. Lange said Cloud can utilize the NJPA contract pricing structure to purchase the bleachers at a price of $218,710. The board also approved a $10,000 contingency, in the event of unexpected costs.
It will be cheaper for some students to attend Cloud in the fall, as the board approved a $5 decrease in in-state tuition.
 If enrollment remains at current levels, College President Danette Toone said the decrease will mean a $75,000 drop in revenues. She said it was a small risk in terms of the potential reward of increasing enrollment.
 Currently, Cloud has the highest rate for tuition and fees among all community colleges in Kansas.
 “We think this is a great move from the standpoint of taking us out of that number one spot,” Toone said.
 In addition, lower tuition will make college more accessible to the students, she said.
Out-of-state and international tuition rates will remain the same at $79 per credit hour. While it had been discussed to increase the international rate, Toone said the decision was made to leave it at its current rate for another year.
 This year, international students were required to have insurance, she said, which is already an added expense.
 “This just isn’t the right time to raise their tuition,” Toone said.
 Housing rates were also changed, moving from five tiers of housing to three. At the diamond level for $3,350, students can live in Thunder Heights or a private room in building 15. The platinum level will cost $2,850, and students can live in a shared room in Thunder Heights or at Hillside. The gold level will cost $2,500 for a room in the LaBarge House or an apartment in the T-Bird Village.
 In approving the consent agenda, the board accepted the resignations of Jeremy Christensen, instructor in English, and Kadie Kutschka, admissions counselor.
 Two policy changes were also approved, removing wording that states the board will grant early retirements if at all possible.
 Joel Figgs, vice president for enrollment management and student services, reported that enrollment is on track to be down between four and five percent. The 2014-2015 budget was based on a four-percent decline. For the fall semester, he said, campus visits are up 21 percent over last year’s numbers. 
 Foundation Executive Director Kim Reynolds said the Carlton and Company multi-purpose facility feasibility study has been completed and has “turned out very favorably.” She said the trustees and Foundation board will be meeting soon to start studying the possibility of a new facility.
 Toone honored former instructor Susan Sutton, who will receive the Kansas Native Sons and Daughters citation for distinguished community service on Friday.
 The organization was formed nearly 100 years ago to preserve Kansas history, show loyalty to Kansas traditions, join in honoring our pioneer ancestors, encourage instilling the ideals of patriotism in youth, and honor outstanding Kansas citizens.
 “She is the first person to be recognized at this event on the first nomination,” Toone said. “I think that speaks volumes. Everyone who’s ever made this list has been nominated more than one time to get them in.”
Sutton thanked Toone, who nominated her for the award.
“I want to tell you what an honor it will be on Friday night. I’ll be representing Cloud County Community College and all of Concordia,” Sutton said. “The Native Sons and Daughters have been going on for over a 100 years. A long time from now, my name will be up there with Bill Self.”

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