Due to increased enrollment in the carpentry program at Southwestern Community College (SWCC), Bill Taylor, SWCC vice president of instruction, stood before the SWCC board of trustees and requested approval of a building partnership contract with Sonntag Development LLC, which the board unanimously approved.
Previously, the board approved an agreement with Union County Development Association to complete a residential project, 409 W. Filmore St. in Afton. Because of the increased enrollment, instructors in the program are interested in additional projects. Taylor said the college was approached by Don Sonntag and he felt the timing was right.
“We’d like to enter a third year of that contract and build a townhome in the Cottonwood Estates subdivision,” said Taylor. “It’s 1,274 square feet (townhome).”
Taylor said the idea would be to have 10 college students work on the Creston project and 16 high school students work on the Afton project. Sontag Development LLC, an economic development and construction firm based out of Atlantic, would cover all of the expenses.
Fred Shearer, SWCC board of trustees vice president, asked Taylor if Don Sonntag contributes to SWCC in the form of scholarships or in-kind donations.
Beth Kulow, dean of student services at SWCC, clarified Sonntag’s contributions to the college.
“He’s actually established two separate scholarships with the education foundation,” said Kulow.
Kulow said the first of two scholarships is a “challenge scholarship” established by Sonntag, which challenges other business contractors to match his challenge. The challenge scholarship directly benefits SWCC carpentry students.
Sonntag also established a general SWCC education foundation scholarship.