Board Approves Parameters for 2009-10 Budget Request

Published 09.18.2008


Architect Benedict Dubbs, of Murray and Associates Architects, presents interior finishes for the Parkes Automotive Technology Center.The Pennsylvania College of Technology Board of Directors on Thursday endorsed parameters for the college's 2009-10 state budget request and approved a gift to the Williamsport Area School District.

The board also heard five-year financial projections and viewed a presentation on materials to be used in the Stage X Building Program, which includes construction of new student housing at the west end of campus.

The board annually approves the parameters used in preparing the college's state budget request, which is submitted with the request for The Pennsylvania State University.

The parameters used were:

  • A 6.94-percent increase in the state appropriation for the operating budget, an increase of $909,000 over this year for a total of $14,012,000

  • A 6.94-percent increase in the state appropriation for debt service, an increase of $96,000 over this year for a total of $1,485,000

  • Continue the current levels of special appropriation, $365,000 for the operating budget and $31,000 for debt service

  • A 4.8-percent increase in tuition and fees, per the college's five-year financial projections

  • A 4-percent salary-pool increment, per the agreement with the Penn College Education Association

The board approved a gift of $35,000 cash to the Williamsport Area School District. This is the same amount given to the school district last year. While the college has offered support to the school district in previous years under a written agreement, the gift is now considered annually.

Robert M. Fisher, vice president for business affairs, provided the board with five-year financial projections for the college.

Panels show interior finishes for the Avco-Lycoming Metal Trades Center (foreground panel) and the Hager Lifelong Education CenterStage X interior building finishes were exhibited by Benedict H. Dubbs, a principal with Murray Associates Architects, P.C., Harrisburg. Plans were presented for renovations in the Automotive Technology Center, the Metal Trades Center, the Lifelong Education Center and a new student housing complex, all of which take advantage of new materials while echoing elements seen across campus.

Among new materials, flooring made of recycled tires will be used in corridors in the Automotive Technology Center and the Metal Trades Center. Not only is the product "green," but it also is built for performance, is quiet and is easy to clean. Walls for the renovated laboratories in both buildings will be quiet off-white, allowing equipment to stand out. The welding laboratory will receive new, silver ductwork, which will remain exposed.

In the Lifelong Education Center, a space formerly occupied by the college library will be renovated to house the Children's Learning Center, where interior finishes will include colorful carpet and rubber and cork flooring to surround classroom sinks.

Biology and physics labs will be given vinyl, no-wax flooring to reduce maintenance time and expense, and chemistry laboratories and stockrooms will receive an epoxy floor that stands up to chemical spills. Corridors throughout the Lifelong Education Center will be carpeted to reduce foot-traffic noise.

"It will be a very different building when we're all said and done," Dubbs said.

Plans for the ground floor of the new student housing facility to be built between College West and Rose Street apartment complexes include a dining facility, meeting space, convenience store, laundry room, vending area, exercise suite and mail pickup.

The dining area is designed to also accommodate lectures and other activities. It includes natural light, in order to keep the large space open and inviting. Each of the facility's four floors will include a study room similar to those in the Madigan Library.

Requests for proposals for the building project will be published Oct. 2 and are due back Nov. 18.

College President Davie Jane Gilmour commended Penn College Police and student affairs personnel for their handling of a crime on campus earlier this week.

"The police, in particular, handled the situation textbook," she said.

She said the college's on-campus alert system, which sends text messages to cellphones and e-mail accounts, worked well, driving 6,000 visits to PCToday for more information.

Gilmour discussed fall enrollment figures, noting that enrollment for the fall semester is 132 students fewer than Fall 2007, a difference of about 2 percent. The college had projected a slight decrease because of closing some academic programs, and Gilmour cited several other probable causes, which the college is analyzing: the nationwide economic downturn, gas prices for commuters, and a series of crimes reported in the Williamsport area in early 2008.

She reported that enrollment in bachelor-degree programs has increased to 45 percent of the total, and that out-of-state students now make up 10 percent of the student population, the highest-ever proportion.