By TESA CULLI
INA — The money is in the bank and Rend Lake College is ready to go out for bids on a new Coal Mining Training Center.
“We have the money,” RLC President Mark Kern told members of the RLC Board on Tuesday. “The grant from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity had $700,000 for the building and $300,000 for equipment. When we wrote that grant, it was before we knew we were getting the grant from the Department of Labor, which include equipment. I contacted them and asked if we could use the $300,000 in the building, and after writing a letter, we were granted permission. We have a $1.072 million check in our hands for the building.”
RLC physical plant director Randall Shively presented a revised floor plan and site location plan to the board. The architects on the project, Eggemeyer Associates, have estimated the project to cost about $1.1 million.
Shively said the bid specifications have been written to include three alternates for a lean-to, the lobby entrance to the center and additional brick on the east side of the building.
“If the bids are good and come in lower than estimated, we could add one or more of the alternates,” Shively said.
The specific bid dates have not been set, however, bids will go out by the end of the month, with bid opening projected at the end of June in preparation for the July board meeting, Shively reported.
“That gives us a good two months to do as much site work in-house as possible and save some money,” Shively said.
Jim Hull, vice president of instruction at the college, said the building, once completed, will not only house instructional areas, but half of the building will include a mock mine which will be used for rescue training.
“We will allow mines to bring crews in for training,” Hull said.
Kern said the center is expected to be completed and ready for use in February 2009.
In other business, the board:
— Approved a revision to the amount of coverage needed under the district surety bond required by state statute to no less than $16 million;
— Transferred up to $2.5 million from the working cash fund to the education fund to cover expenses due to the timing of receipts from the state for various grant payments;
— Transferred $2.4 million from the education fund to the working cash fund to repay earlier transfers made in anticipation of revenues;
— Approved the sale of obsolete materials at the college to be held at 4:30 p.m. on May 29;
— Approved a memorandum of agreement between the college and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale to offer upper division or graduate courses and degree completion programs for RLC district students;
— Approved an inter-district agreement for educational cooperation between John A. Logan College, Kaskaskia College, Rend Lake College, Southwestern Illinois College, Shawnee Community College and Southeastern Illinois College which will allow students to take programs at another college if their district college does not have the program;
— Employed Bob Kelley to write a history of the college from 1972 though July 2008;
— Agreed to stipends for college staff employed through contracts with the Illinois Department of Corrections;
— Approved a municipal lease/loan and option agreement with Murphy Wall State Bank and Trust to finance the purchase of computer equipment and accessories at an interest rate of 3.65 percent;
— Employed Krystal Prusacki as the distance learning and media technology specialist;
— Transferred Lori Ragland from the assistant director of community education to the director of community education;
— Accepted resignations from Yvonne Hallam, Brian Greer, Vanessa Hanson and Ed Heischmidt — which is effective June 1, 2009; and
— Approved a request to hire and ratify the appointment of an assistant director of community education at the June board meeting and approved a revised job description.
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