The Weatherford College board of trustees approved a resolution authorizing reimbursement for costs relating to the Workforce and Emerging Technologies Building during their meeting Thursday afternoon.

Matt Boles with RBC, Capital Markets, explained that financing for the projected $27.5 million project will be pursued in two to three months, but there will be expenditures before that time if the college wants to meet the goal of opening the building in August 2021.

The three-story building is being constructed in partnership with Workforce Solutions.

“We’re doing this to expedite and be ready when it’s time to construct,” said Dr. Andra Cantrell, WC executive vice president of financial and administrative affairs.

The resolution allows for payments of consultant fees, architect fees, construction managers at risk fees, equipment and any other payments associated with the construction of the facility that will be reimbursed once revenue bond obligations to finance the project are issued.

The board also received an update from Huckabee architects on the beginning stages of a master plan.

An online survey will go out soon for college employees to complete to gather visions for academics, athletics, college priorities and the face of the college in the future.

A final master plan is expected to presented to the board in August.

In other business the board:

• Approved the minutes from the April 12 board meeting.

• Approved the financial reports ending April 30.

• Approved renewal of independent audit services.

• Approved the extension of depository bank services.

• Approved the extension of facility maintenance services.

• Approved budget amendment No. 2.

• Received written reports on Guided Pathways, the demand study update and the vet tech program update. President Tod Allen Farmer reported a higher success rate among students in the Spring 2020 semester than in the past. 

“We’re seeing marked improvement as a result of efforts put into place by Guided Pathways,” he said. “I’m extremely proud of our people and the progress we’re making in that endeavor.”

• Received the 2020-21 preliminary budget from Cantrell totaling $63 million, an increase of $2.44 million from the 2019-20 budget. 

The preliminary budget is balanced thanks to an increase of $2.8 million due to tuition rates and the addition of an institutional enrichment fee added last fall, for what Cantrell said she believes may be the first time this earlier in the process. Preliminary taxable property values in Parker County have also increased by $1 billion for a total of $15.8 billion.

• Approved TASB policy service update No. 37.

• Approved a letter regarding property.

Approved the annual evaluation of President Tod Allen Farmer and approved a salary increase. The board had previously extended the president’s contract through March of 2023.

• Approved the annual performance evaluation of the president and approved establishing four guidelines or goals for performance standards to be used in future presidential performance evaluations and salary.

During the President’s Report, Dr. Tod Allen Farmer:

• Recognized WC Foundation President Bob Glenn, Executive Director Brent Baker and the entire foundation board. The latest report documents that the WC Foundation has raised over $1 million this fiscal year leading the creation of many new student scholarships.

• Congratulated Dr. Hyeyoung Song and Dean Duane Durrett on successful completion of the second annual WC International Piano Competition.

• Congratulated WC Rodeo Team members Brendan Bennett, Kinlie Brennise, Madelyn Eddleman, Cash Enderli, Aubrey Ford, McKenna Hickson, Faith Holyan, Thane Lockhart and Sophie Nolen for earning a perfect 4.0 GPA in the Spring 2020 semester.

• Recognized WC employees for their collective efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We as an institution have transitioned to a new enrollment system, migrated over 1,000 courses to an online format, helped students complete their online spring semester coursework and registered a record number of students for the Summer I term,” Farmer said. “Additionally, many team members have been working very hard to distribute the $2.56 million dollars is CARES Act grant funding to students.”

• Announced the resignations of Eddy Dean, EMS program coordinator; Rachel Gilliam, campus police patrol officer; and Denise Walker, student support services secretary.

• Provided an enrollment update. As of May 11, registration for the Summer I semester stood at 1,130 students, up from 1,003 students during the same time in the registration process last year. This represents a 12% year-to-date enrollment increase so far.

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