Bond issue for tech center expansion up for DACC trustee vote

Bond issue for tech center expansion up for DACC trustee vote

DANVILLE — Danville Area Community College officials are getting close to kicking off a much-needed expansion at the Harry J. Braun Technology Center, which will be called the Julius W. Hegeler II Advanced Technology Center Addition.

But first, trustees on Tuesday must vote on whether to issue $3 million in general obligation bonds that will help fund the project. It’s the last step in the bonding process that began earlier this year.

The tustees will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The meeting is in Vermilion Hall, Room 302, at the campus, 2000 E. Main St. A copy of the agenda and board packet is available online (the download is 52 MB) at http://bit.ly/18fKsuz.

The bonds would be paid back over a 15-year period, President Alice Jacobs said. Officials do not anticipate they will affect the district’s tax rate thanks to a donation from Hegeler and the Julius W. Hegeler II Foundation of upwards of $3 million, announced in July.

Trustees also will vote on whether to approve about $2.12 million contracts for the project. Under a recommendation by administrators, the board would approve a general contracting bid from Schomburg & Schomburg Construction for about $1.26 million; the plumbing bid from Venture Mechanical for $167,622; the electrical bid from Glesco Electric for $212,780; the mechanical bid from Davis-Houk Mechanical for $449,750; and the fire protection bid from Automatic Fire Sprinkler for $26,260.
Officials were pleased with the bids, which came in about $273,000 lower than estimated, according Mike Cunningham, DACC’s administrative services director.

A ground-breaking ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Sept. 30 at the technology center, which houses the Technology and Information Systems Division including drafting/CAD, electronics, golf course equipment, information systems, manufacturing, welding, auto body, auto mechanics, mechatronics and wind energy programs. It also houses the computer and network services and the Corporate and Community Education Division’s Industrial Training Center.

The project calls for building a 10,000-square-foot addition onto the north and west sides of the building. It will house two classrooms, two training labs, two offices, a small conference room, restrooms and storage, and include a geothermal system.

“We’re hoping to be done in 12 months,” Cunningham said. “It may take a little longer because of the weather. ... But hopefully this time next year, we’ll be close to having a dedication.”

Jacobs said staff and students are eager to see it start.

“The building is so overcrowded because we’ve added so many programs over the last 10 years,” she said. “We’ll be able to now more adequately house advanced manufacturing programs, and we’re hoping we to be able to add some future programing as well.”

Through Hegeler’s donation to the DACC Foundation, the college will receive $100,000 each year to fund the interest payment on the $3 million bond issue. And upon his death, he will bequeath $3 million to the foundation, which will be used to pay off the principal.

The donation is the single-largest gift the college foundation has ever received.

Also at the meeting, trustees will vote on whether to approve DACC’s budget for the 2014 fiscal year and the tax levy. Chief Financial Officer Tammy Clark-Betancourt said figures have not changed since the preliminary spending plan was put on display 30 days ago.

Under the proposal, the college would spend a total of about $32.75 million this fiscal year, which is down from about $34.42 million last year.

The proposed operating budget — unrestricted funds that pay for salaries and benefits, contractual services, utilities and other day-to-day expenses — would bring in about $15.9 million in revenue and spend about $16.15 million, leaving a $244,068 shortfall. Carryover funds would be used to balance the budget.

 The college’s tax rate is expected to be about 62.57 cents per $100 of assessed valuation — slightly lower than the current rate of 63.07 cents, officials said.

Jacobs said the budget will allow the college to replace part-time faculty members with full-time ones in math, art, Spanish, certified nursing assistant and HVAC programs. It also will allow it to create a full-time position for its new Certified Medical Assistant certificate program, being developed.

The program is designed to provide entry-level theory and limited hands-on training in basic and routine clinical and office tasks, and DACC officials specifically developed it upon a request from Carle officials.

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