The Southeast Arkansas College Board of Trustees heard a presentation from Nelson Architectural Group architect Richard Taylor on the details of two potential construction projects Wednesday afternoon.

The Southeast Arkansas College Board of Trustees heard a presentation from Nelson Architectural Group architect Richard Taylor on the details of two potential construction projects Wednesday afternoon.

Taylor said the two projects would be natural complements to the 98 percent finished computing services building at SEARK scheduled for completion in mid-February.

“What we have called the Hazel Street entry and computing services parking project will encompass a new boulevard entry and exit driveway off of Hazel Street and a new parking lot adjacent to the computing services building with 28 spaces that includes three handicapped spots,” Taylor said. “The cost for this project is estimated to be $369,292, which includes new site lighting, as well as storm drains and catch basins to deal with removing water from the property.”

Taylor said that the construction of phase two of the computing services and administration building project would add 6,875 square feet of space to the phase one building’s 9,000 square feet.

“The new facility would include a new board room, training room, offices for the president and vice president and a kitchen,” Taylor said.

Taylor said that the estimated cost of the phase two project is $1,280,887.

SEARK President Steve Hilterbran asked Taylor how difficult it would be to construct the phase two building at a later date after the installation of the new driveway and parking lot.

“There would be a small limiting factor because the contractor would have only one access point to the new building since we wouldn’t want the heavy construction equipment driving over the newly installed driveway project,” Taylor said.

Hilterbran asked how great the danger for a project cost increase would be if the decision was made to delay the construction of phase two.

“Right now we have contractors who are hungry for work,” Taylor said. “Projects are bidding with much value to the owner right now. There is always a danger that the overall environment will change in the future.”

Hilterbran asked whether a new round of bidding would be the best course of action in any decision to move forward with the project.

“We’d like to think that new bids will be lower than the estimate,” Hilterbran said.

Taylor said that this could indeed be the case.

Board member Annette Kline asked what the overall completion timeframe would be for each project once approval was given by the board.

“It would take 30 days to prepare the drawings for the parking lot and driveway project and maybe four to six months of construction time,” Taylor said. “For that project plus phase two it would be 90 days to prepare the drawings and 10 months of construction time.”

A.W. Nelson Jr. thanked the board for the long-lasting partnership between his firm and SEARK.

“I have had the genuine pleasure of working with you for 20 years,” Nelson said. “I look at this campus with a great deal of pride. We see the impact that you have made on this town and on Southeast Arkansas and we are proud to have been your partner.”

The board took no formal action on either project.

Other business

The board also approved funding in the budget for a business manager.

“This is not a position we have had before but we are in real need of a business manager,” Hilterbran. “I recommend that the board approve the funding of the position with a salary range between $50,000 and $75,000 per year.”

The board approved the reactivation of SEARK’s emergency medical technology paramedic degree, which had been dropped last year.

“It has only been one semester since we dropped the EMT program due to staffing issues and low enrollment,” said Linda Lewis, vice president for academic/student affairs.

Diann Williams, vice president of nursing & allied health/assessment, said that the college’s accredting and approval agencies were being sent letters informing them of the school’s intent to reinstate the EMT program.

“The hiring of Scott Endres to coordinate the program gives us the qualfied staff that we need,” Williams said. “He possesses the required degree and has vast experience in the EMT industry.”

The board heard a report on enrollment from Kaleybra Morehead, vice president for college affairs/advancement.

Morehead said that spring 2012 enrollment at SEARK is 2,063 while spring 2011 enrollment was 1,985.

Morehead broke down the spring 2012 figure to show that the college had 1,046 full time students, 939 part time, 320 first time, and 1,743 underclassmen.

The board heard a report from Michael Gunter, vice president of student affairs, on the progress being made in creating a new SEARK website.

“The old website was hard to update and the new system is easier,” Gunter said. “Most of the content is in but things still need to be massaged. Each page will keep the same look and feel and the new site has a search feature, which was probably the biggest request we had for the new site. We are hoping to finish it in the next month.”

The board approved the financial affairs report presented by Debbie Wallace, vice president for fiscal affairs.

Wallace reported that for the five months ending Nov. 30, total revenues were $5,259,589 and total expenditures were $4,132,741, out of a total 2011-2012 budget of $11,794,226.

The board approved a series of personnel recommendations made by Hilterbran.

The board agreed to hire Katrina Murry as a nursing instuctor in the Nursing and Allied Health program, effective Sept. 22; Michael Gunter as the vice president for student affairs effective Nov. 14; Mary P. Tate as an English instructor, effective Jan. 4; Scott L. Endres as coordinator and instructor for the EMT program, effective Jan. 4; and Nicholas B. Simpson as a biology instructor effective Jan. 4.

The board approved the resignations of Sandra Ratcliff as an admnistrative specialist II, effective Dec. 16; Tara Hubbart as faculty in practical nursing, effective Dec. 16; Virginia Perschbacher as dean of the library and distance learning, effective Dec. 31; James Harris as a counselor effective Jan. 4; Jerry Hayes as an institutional service assistant, effective Jan. 9; Shelesha Collington as a cashier, effective Jan. 12; and Stephanie Brown as controller, effective Feb. 15.

The board approved Kim Williams as interim librarian, effective Jan. 1.