LCC to spend $1.55 million on campus upgrades

2010-03-21T22:00:00Z LCC to spend $1.55 million on campus upgradesBy Leila Summers / The Daily News Longview Daily News
March 21, 2010 10:00 pm  • 

Lower Columbia College will spend $1.55 million on a "wish list" of projects that include a new gym floor, a new campus telephone system and an addition to the campus services building.

A surge in tuition dollars from LCC's record-high enrollment is funding the projects, said college spokeswoman Sue Groth. LCC's board of trustees approved the projects last week.

"Because our enrollment has been so high for so long, we paid for extra teachers and we still have money left over. We've decided to do several projects that weren't in the original budget ... and we have a number of projects on the wish list," Groth said.

Groth said LCC officials decided not to use surplus tuition dollars to make up for a projected $890,000 cut the college is expecting in state support. Using it that way would be only a temporary fix, Groth said.

"If we use the money to plug the hole this year, we'll have to make those cuts next year," Groth explained, adding there's no guarantee excess tuition dollars will be available in coming years.

LCC is planning to make up most, if not all, of the state revenue loss by offering a retirement incentive to employees this year.

The college will use part of the $1.55 million to restore some work-study hours expected to be cut by the state this year, purchase a dance floor for a Rose Center classroom, buy equipment for industrial technology programs, and put more money into the LCC student activities fund - which helps pay for student government and campus clubs.

Buying a new phone system is expected to cost about $500,000 and will serve the campus for many years to come, Groth said.

LCC is running out of phone lines. Also, Groth said, the new system won't cost the college any more than moving the hardware for the existing system, which it must do when it demolishes the Instructional Office Building in a few years. "We were going to have to pay just as much to keep the one we have now functioning," Groth said.

Some of the money will help the LCC Head Start program add several offices to its day-care building - a project that's mostly funded by grants.

In place of the existing Head Start administrative office building, LCC wants to build a two-story addition to the school's campus services building, which houses the LCC mail room and security offices. The college also wants the new addition to include storage room and classrooms in for the Career Education Options program, which helps 16- to 21-year-olds earn high school diplomas. The program now is in a campus portable, Groth said.

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(11) Comments

  1. skibowlruler
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    skibowlruler - March 21, 2010 11:51 pm
    really?!?
  2. Really
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    Really - March 22, 2010 8:16 am
    It's amazing that they can spend more money, yet cut out degree programs so our kids have to transfer to another school. Yet programs are being cut, educators cut, and the solution is to make more building improvements. Thanks LCC, I know that my kid will have a great time transferring to another area of the state to complete his degree; which makes me so thankful that new phones and dance floors will be installed. You should let the kids finish out their degree program before axing it.
  3. Euphonium
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    Euphonium - March 22, 2010 9:04 am
    "LCC officials decided not to use surplus tuition dollars to make up for a projected $890,000 cut the college is expecting in state support. Using it that way would be only a temporary fix, Groth said.

    "If we use the money to plug the hole this year, we'll have to make those cuts next year," Groth explained." Double talk????

    This is not an understandable explanation. Taxpayers would have the surplus applied to the $890k cut the college is expecting in state support.
  4. SM
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    SM - March 22, 2010 10:09 am
    They could always spend the money to bring back their awesome Integrated Studies classes. Instead they're going to be using these retirement incentives to get their older, best profs to retire. Bad call, LCC.
  5. coco
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    coco - March 22, 2010 4:01 pm
    Or you could LOWER TUITION......
  6. eternaloptimist
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    eternaloptimist - March 22, 2010 4:26 pm
    Unless you work for the state and have an understanding of how these types of funds work, you have no room to comment. Funds for these types of projects come from a separate budget than the money that supports the college's educational programs. Nor does the building project have anything to do with the proposed budget cuts. The funds for the project were secured long before the budget crisis.
  7. lmorgan
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    lmorgan - March 22, 2010 5:51 pm
    How dare you say that it comes from a different funding source!! That's our money eternaloptimist. Get real!!
  8. greenqueen
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    greenqueen - March 22, 2010 6:30 pm
    Thank you, "eternaloptimist". You took the words out of my mouth. I keep hearing people complain about where the money "should go" with no idea of the complexity of state funding. As for "lowering tuition", to what? Free? And the "older, best profs" being offered early retirement? What makes them "the best"? Because they've been there longer? Have you ever heard the saying, "you can't teach an old dog new tricks"? Nothing against them, but I have been a college student for a few years..
  9. greenqueen
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    greenqueen - March 22, 2010 6:32 pm
    ...and the best instructors were NOT the ones with the most seniority (and therefore, the highest paid). Why pay one instructor $80,000 a year when you can pay two instructors $40,000 and offer more classes? Times are changing...so should instruction.
  10. TomsMom92
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    TomsMom92 - March 22, 2010 6:55 pm
    First of all, eternaloptomist, this is not State funds, it is "extra tuition" from extremely high enrollment so can be used at the college's discretion. Programs are being cut including Audio Engineering-not available nearby-thousands of $ of equip will be gathering dust-program is full
  11. Yellow Dog
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    Yellow Dog - March 24, 2010 10:33 am
    This has nothing to do with how the budgets work, this is money that came from tuition from the current high enrollment at LCC. They can spend it any way they like, and this is the way they choose to spend it.
    Greenqueen, I agree, the best instructors are not always those with the most seniority, but many long term instructors at LCC are well liked, popular instructors. Check the OFM for all state workers salaries,instructors don't make $80,000 and start out around $36,000
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