By TRAVIS MORSE
---- — MT. VERNON – The new proposed Allied Health building remains at the top of Rend Lake College's annual wish list of improvement projects.
And college officials are guardedly optimistic that the state could allocate funding for the initiative in the near future.
“We're looking at a pretty decent possibility of that being funded in the next couple of years,” said Chad Copple, RLC's director of marketing and public information.
The RLC Board of Trustees Tuesday approved its annual Resource Allocation Management Plan (RAMP), which will be submitted to the Illinois Community College Board. The document outlines the college's desired improvement projects and is updated each year.
The state accepts RAMP lists from colleges across Illinois, then prioritizes the projects for possible funding.
RLC's $6.2 million Allied Health building has been on the state's combined project list for a number of years and is currently ranked number 10.
“We're probably dependent on the state selling more bonds in the next couple months or year in order for this to be funded,” said Bob Carlock, retiring vice president of finance and administration at RLC.
If the state were to allocate funding, a 25 percent local match from RLC would likely be required, Copple said.
Constructing a new Allied Health building would create more lab space for nursing and associate degree nursing students at RLC. The current nursing lab has insufficient space to “adequately meet the needs of expanding Allied Health programs,” states the RLC RAMP document.
“There's no doubt now that Allied Health is a high growth field,” Carlock said. “We have a great hospital system in Southern Illinois so there are well-paid jobs available for graduates.”
If the nursing program moves into a new building, the college could utilize the classrooms in the current nursing lab for other purposes.
This year's RAMP list also includes two new RLC projects: a $9.9 million Student Center addition, and a $3.3 million Applied Sciences Center addition.
The Student Center addition would expand the current facility to include a student commons area, a bookstore, a conference center, and possibly charging stations and a coffee shop.
“It makes a better environment for students,” Carlock said.
The Applied Sciences Center addition would help alleviate overcrowding in the college's open bay lab area.
College officials say it will likely be a number of years before the state allocates funding for the two new projects.
Other RLC board actions Tuesday included:
n Appointment of three new employees, including Macey Ellis, human resources specialist; Tammi Gulliksen, business office accountant; and ReAnne Palmer, public information specialist.
n Creation of a new full-time position: a first-year experience coordinator. The college will now seek to fill this position.
n Acceptance of the retirement resignation of Don Trogolo, custodial supervisor; and the resignation of Abel Kinser, biological sciences associate professor.
n Approval of a new course: Integrated Reading and Writing.
n Approval of the list of obsolete materials to be sold at auction at 5 p.m. June 20 at the 4-H facility on the southwest side of campus.