ASHEBORO (July 20, 2018)
Randolph Community College’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved the general contractor for the $14.5 million Allied Health Center during its regular meeting on Thursday, July 19, held in the Martha Luck Comer Conference Center on the Asheboro Campus.
Clancy & Theys Construction Company from Charlotte was the low bidder with a final construction price of $10,929,762 and was recommended to the Board of Trustees by the architect, Little Diversified Architectural Consulting. An alternate contractor was approved by the Board in the unlikely event that the College and State Construction Office cannot negotiate a contract with the first bidder — the second lowest bidder was WC Construction of Winston-Salem.
The bid opening was held on July 12, and six complete bids were received. The College postponed a planned groundbreaking earlier this year because not enough bids had been received. A new date for the groundbreaking is expected to be announced soon.
The final project costs are $14,450,000, which is the original budget approved by the Board of Trustees on July 21, 2016. Nearly $9.4 million of the funds will come from the 1/4-cent county sales tax designated for RCC capital construction, and just over $5 million will come from state bond funds.
The approximately 45,000-square-foot facility will house classrooms and labs for the medical field and will sit beside the Richard Petty Education Center on the north side of Industrial Park Avenue. It will house RCC’s Associate Degree Nursing, Emergency Medical Services, Medical Assisting, and Radiography programs and has been designed to include a simulated healthcare community for both inpatient and outpatient care. The Allied Health Center will be RCC’s second LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building on campus.
Because Heather Clouston, executive assistant to the president and the Board of Trustees was unable to attend the July 19 meeting, new trustees were sworn in earlier this month by her in the president’s office. Jorge Lagueruela, president of Trinity Furniture, was sworn in to replace Fred Meredith, who retired from the Board after 15 years of service. Lagueruela previously served on the Board of Trustees from October 2013 through June 2017. Lagueruela was appointed to a four-year term by the Randolph County Commissioners.
Also sworn in were Toni Formato, new Student Government Association president who serves as an ex officio member of the board, and Reynolds Lisk, who was reappointed to the Board by the Asheboro City Schools.
RCC Vice President of Administrative Services Daffie Garris presented the state budget/expense analysis as of June 30, 2018, which showed a 2017-2018 state budget allocation of $17,897,590 after a state-required budget reversion of $687,559. An unspent balance of $366,952 at the end of the year included restricted funds and funds that would carry forward into the new budget year.
Garris also presented a letter from the North Carolina Office of the State Controller, which certified an annual review of RCC’s system of internal control with no problems, and an updated Facilities Master Plan to prioritize capital and renovation projects for the next several years. The top three priorities for capital projects were 1) land acquisition; 2) a culinary arts center; and 3) a building trades center; and the top three priorities for repair and renovation were 1) renovation of the Learning Resources Center; 2) backfill renovations to spaces vacated from programs moving to the Allied Health Center; and 3) upfit of the existing space adjacent to Cosmetology, which had been leased out. “This is just a plan,” said Garris, “It can change, and things can shift around.”
Vice President of Student Services Chad Williams presented an enrollment report to the Board that showed student headcount was down just a half of a percent from fall 2016 (2,810) to fall 2017 (2,800), which he noted as significant since, historically, community college enrollment goes down when the unemployment rate drops. More importantly, Williams said the RCC was converting 55% of new applicants to students and the returning student rate held at 51%.
He said the efforts of his staff to work with the College Foundation of North Carolina in tracking applicants through their online applications, which all colleges must use, has been successful with a higher number of new students enrolling for fall 2018 versus this time last year. RCC also changed its processes to include provisional acceptance so students could be awarded financial aid earlier and register earlier. He also noted that the higher number of high school students taking college classes through RCC’s Career and College Promise program has helped stabilize enrollment.
RCC President Robert Shackleford commended the efforts of Williams and his staff, noting that across the state, most community colleges are down 5-12% in enrollment.
The Board of Trustees approved the Consent Agenda that included approval of articulation agreements between Randolph Community College and Asheboro City Schools and RCC and Randolph County School System; the 2018-2019 Memorandum of Understanding for RCC and the Randolph Early College High School; and revisions to several personnel policies.