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WJBD - Local News - Kaskaskia College Board Discusses Options with Trenton Education Center Project

Kaskaskia College Board Discusses Options with Trenton Education Center Project

By Will Doolin, WJBD News

With fundraising and donations slowed for the Capital Projects for Kaskaskia College, the Board of Trustees evaluated their options Monday evening regarding the Trenton Education Center Project.  

After evaluating fundraising efforts and costs, the Board considered five-options which could help move the project forward.  The Board agreed with option-five which is to leave the current facility as is, with the exception of renovating the restrooms in order to bring the building up to code.  Option-five consists of an allied health/nursing lab, a new science lab and a planned addition.  However the industrial area would still remain open.

College President Dr. Jim Underwood says option-five is more duable at this stage when it comes to the cost.  The projected cost of the project right now is $2.4 million.  With option-five, the projected cost is now $2 million.  Fundraising would still continue for the amount of $191,369, with bidding and construction to begin this spring.  "Two-million-dollars is where I think we need to sit at the moment assuming we don't get any major new money being raised in Trenton.  There are still potential donors out there, but with option-five, we still need $191,000, but we're getting down to where it's becoming more doable", said Underwood.  

Underwood states a total of $817,000 has been raised in eight-months for the campaign.  He says the reason for evaluating their options is because it is important to capitalize on the spring construction schedule.  He also stated that the college lost some of their fundraising capability, as well as some potential donors.  He believes the college could still raise an additional $250,000 to $300,000 for the project within a six-month period.  Underwood states once the project is completed, enrollment is projected to increase 55-percent within the first year, as well as an increase in credit hours with 4,500 credit hour being taken at Trenton compared to 2,600 right now.  

Underwood thanked those who have helped work on the campaign fundraising and says they will continue to call on people to donate who believe in the project.  "We didn't come up with this option-five until last Friday, and it didn't dawn on us until 4:00 Friday morning, to be honest.  We were just trying to find a way to make this work, so my thanks to the staff", said Underwood.

The Trenton Education Center is just one of five projects for the college.  The college is also planning to build and new agriculture and nursing facility on the main campus, as well as renovate, expand, and add new programs to the Crisp Technology Center in Centralia and to the Nashville Education Center.  The total cost of the projects is $19.5 million, with two-thirds of the project being paid with bonds, and one-third being paid with donations.

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