By SALLY SEXTON
With construction ongoing at the Weatherford College campus, trustees had the option to vote on facility names based on donations to the Weatherford College Foundation’s capital campaign during Thursday’s regular meeting.
Trustees voted to name the new health building the Don Allen Health Science Building after a request from the Jerry Durant Auto Group, which committed $400,000 to the campaign. Board members also approved the naming of a classroom in the academic building after Gary and Linda Snow.
The meeting kicked off with trustees hearing several reports Thursday about ongoing construction on the WC campus for the new Health Science Building.
Jarred Jones, of Steele Freeman, said that utility and earthwork would be starting on Monday for the building, with foundation piers to be drilled by the end of the month.
“The slab will be laid in late-August, early-September and we’ll start work on the masonry probably in December or January,” Jones said.
The Health Science Building will cost, turn-key, about $6 million.
Other renovations to the campus include installing items that would net the college more energy savings, including HVAC, lighting, window films and water wells, that would be initially funded but would pay for themselves over the course of the years. Initial funds to update, replace and modify existing facilities was just over $4 million, said Linda Bagwell, WC director of communications and public relations.
“This will be our third project (at Weatherford College),” Jim Swan, with Johnson Controls, said. “We did one in 1999 and another in 2003, and they have more than paid for themselves.”
The facility improvement measures plan between Johnson Controls and Weatherford College guarantees a savings of at least five percent through a closely-tracked 15-year performance contract, with expectations of as much as $250,000 in savings this first year and as much as $4.7 million over the 15-year contract term.
Thus far, 80 A/C and heating units have been replaced around campus, solar film has been placed on windows and interior lighting has been replaced with more energy efficient lighting.
“Exterior lighting is really the only thing we have left to complete,” Swan said.
Irrigation is being addressed as well, with water wells and a storage tank being installed for irrigation to the softball field and other areas of the campus. While some wells will be used to irrigate areas of the campus that previously had no water supply, others will be used to get the campus off of city water, including the tank servicing the softball field.
In other news, trustees:
• Heard an updated report on the 2013-14 preliminary budget, as presented by Andra Cantrell, vice president of financial affairs. Cantrell presented the proposed budget at $53,270,294, anticipating more than $597,000 in increased state funding. The board will vote on the final budget at its August meeting.
• Heard President Kevin Eaton’s recognitions for Tonya Edwards, WC faculty member of the year; employees at the WC library for their work on inventory while being understaffed; volunteers and organizers who participated in Taste of Parker County; the WC softball team for its post-season accomplishments; and three athletes named as All-Americans — Kortney Koroll, Kylee Studioso and Katy Vanderwater.
• Heard a report on summer and fall enrollment numbers increasing from this time last year.
• Approved bids for medical and science supplies and equipment.
• Approved the authorization of payment to the Teacher Retirement System.
• Approved the donation of surplus desks and other items to West ISD.
• Held its election for board officers, re-electing Frank Martin to chairman of the board, Joel Watson to vice chair and Luke Haynes as secretary/treasurer.