The State Fair Community College Board of Trustees was presented with its first look at the architect’s renderings for the proposed Workforce Innovation Center during a work session Tuesday morning. 

Gov. Mike Parson will make a major announcement regarding the facility and funding for the center at 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3 in the Thompson Conference Center, according to SFCC President Dr. Joanna Anderson. 

The 35,000-square-foot facility designed by Snapp Construction along with a committee of instructors and staff will be home to the College and CTC Welding and Precision Machining programs. 

The project is expected to cost $8.5 to $9 million and will be paid for through a series of public grants, donations and a capital campaign. The college does not plan to ask taxpayers for an additional tax increase. According to information provided by Anderson, the college has secured $5 million toward the project. 

Both Anderson and SFCC Foundation President Mary Treuner commented to the board they are facing a “big hill in terms of fundraising” but indicated the amount is doable based on the generosity of the community to the college in the past. 

“We are finishing the designs and are in the process of working on the construction documents,” SFCC Facilities Director Justin O’Neal told the board. “Plans are to put the building out for bid later this winter and begin construction in the spring.” 

The college has a projected completion date of April 2021 with the first classes planned for fall 2021.

During the regular meeting following the work session, trustees voted to move the day and time of future work and board meetings. Trustees will now meet at 4 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month for regular meetings. If work sessions are needed they will be scheduled for 3 p.m. prior to the regular session. The change will become effective in January. 

Trustees were presented a report on the college’s athletic program by Athletic Director Darren Pannier and Vice President for Educational and Support Services Dr. Brent Bates. 

Pannier thanked the college for allowing SFCC to expand its athletic offerings in December 2015 by adding baseball and softball and men’s and women’s soccer. Of the 65 schools in the college’s service area, 65 student athletes have enrolled in the four sports at SFCC. 

“We are seeing excellent retention rates in our athletes in these four sports,” Pannier commented. “For 2018, baseball was at 75% retention, softball was 91%, women’s soccer is at 82% and men’s soccer is at 77%.”

Bates added the goal for all students for fall to fall retention is 60%. 

Based on numbers from the college’s reporting system, revenue from the four sports is $850,829. Expenditures were reported at $569,307 for a profit of $281,522. 

Pannier was thanked for his efforts but was also asked to continue to attract more local athletes. Additionally, he was asked to consider the feasibility of adding programs including E-sports, trap shooting, competitive fishing and track and field.   

In other actions, the trustees voted to:

• Enter into a facility lease with the City of Boonville for the finished space at the Science Hall on the Kemper Campus for use as classrooms and academic support areas. The rent for the first, second and third floors of Science Hall, the Network Utility closet space on the ground floor of the Library Learning Center and access to the 50 parking spaces will be $25,400 annually. The payments will be made in 12 equal monthly installments. Rent is calculated at $2 per square foot for the building space utilized, representing 12,700 square feet. The lease is for three years commencing July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2022, with an option to extend for an additional two years through June 30, 2024. There is no rent escalation during the term of the lease or the extension period. Funds for the lease is from current operating funds. 

• Approve the use of Robert Rollings Architects LLC to provide "on-call, as-needed" architectural services. At the Nov. 28, 2017, board meeting, it was decided this work be performed on the most economical basis either hourly, project or percentage of construction costs for a period not to exceed two years or an amount not to exceed $50,000 plus reimbursable expenses. When either condition was met, the resolution would be considered fulfilled and wouldn’t continue unless approved again by the board. On Tuesday, the board approved the continued use subject to the same conditions for a two-year period not to exceed $50,000. The funding will be from current operating funds, designated funds, or included as part of board-approved project funding. 

• Approved the board will meet at 11 a.m. Dec.  17 in the Hopkins Building for regular business items and presentation of the audit. 

• Accepted the bid from Patterson Dental Supply Inc. of St. Paul, Minnesota, for one Airst Ardent AL Air system with Membrane Driver for $12,617.84 for use by the Dental Hygiene Department. The funding source is DESE 50/50 and Dental Hygiene.

• Approved the payments of $3,041,077.06 for the month of October. 

Education Reporter

Hope Lecchi is the education reporter for the Democrat, covering all things education in Sedalia and Pettis County, as well as providing general assignment and feature coverage. She can be reached at 660-530-0144.

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