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6-cent levy continuation discussed at SWCC board meeting

Published: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 11:05 a.m. CDT

The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) Board of Directors regular meeting was held today at the college’s Creston campus.

6-cent levy continuation

As part of the Sept. 12 Iowa school board public elections, voters will decide in a referendum whether to continue the 6-cent levy for SWCC that has been in place for the past 10 years. All 15 Iowa community colleges have 6-cent levies in place.

Funds gathered from the 6-cent levy are used by SWCC to purchase instructional classroom equipment exclusively.

“It goes right to the students,” said Tom Lesan, SWCC vice president of economic development. “It’s in the classroom — it’s not salaries, it’s not new roads, it’s not anything else. It’s just classroom equipment. That’s how we upgrade computer labs, that’s how we get new technology in the classroom and all that. And we’re not trying to sneak it by people — we want people to know what it is.” 

SWCC President Barb Crittenden also emphasizes to tax-payers the levy will not increase their bottom-lines, and that it is a continuation of a levy already in place.

Overall, SWCC’s total tax asking is less than 88 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation.

Building partnership contract

SWCC has approved a public-private building partnership with Decatur County Development Corporation for the coming academic year.

SWCC students participating in the college’s carpentry and building trades program will help construct a house at 25311 Quest Road in Leon.

“As you know,” said Bill Taylor, SWCC vice president of instruction, “we would be in our second year in our contract with Decatur County Development building a home in Leon. The project has went very well — this year we are going to have students from Clarke, Central Decatur, Lamoni and Wayne, as well.”

Personnel

The board approved the employment of two new instructors; each for a 202-day contract.

Ms. Brooke Owen was hired for the 2017-18 academic year as a nursing instructor. Owen expects to receive a Master of Science in nursing from Chamberlain College in December of this year, and currently works as nursing simulation lab coordinator for SWCC.

Owen is also a part-time registered nurse working at Greater Regional Medical Center in Creston and Montgomery County Memorial Hospital in Red Oak.

Mr. Josh Keul was also hired for the 2017-18 academic year as an electrical technology instructor. Keul is a Master Class A Electrician in Iowa, and currently works as electrical division manager for Seneca Companies in Des Moines.

“Josh is a fourth-generation electrician — he comes from a long family line of electricians,” Taylor said. “He has spent the last couple of years at Seneca Corporation, and has moved up that ladder, but is really tired of traveling. So we were fortunate to be at the right place and the right time to get Josh.”

In other SWCC news:

A Crest Area Theater Production, “Godspell,” will be held at the SWCC Performing Arts Center with showtimes this Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

SWCC fall orientations will be held throughout the rest of July and into early August, including one of the college’s arts and sciences orientations on July 21.

Fall 2017 semester courses officially begin August 23.

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