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SWCC plans development for new dorms in 2014

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013 10:51 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013 11:46 a.m. CDT
Southwestern Community College board members, from left, Zach Gunsolley, newly elected in District 6; Jerry Smith and Dr. Tony Cass listen to Tom Lesan, vice president of economic development, as he discusses plans for building a new dormitory on campus Tuesday.

Southwestern Community College is moving along with development plans to build a new dormitory on the Creston campus.

“I think we’re going to like the end result,” said Tom Lesan, SWCC vice president of economic development. “We’re going to get what we want.”

According to Lesan, the building will be home to 88 students, each with their own rooms, which will be apartment-style similar to Spartan Hall and Spartan Suites.

“That would actually be part of the existing need of students that we know we lost this fall because there wasn’t housing available,” Lesan said.

Plans to build the new dormitory were passed unanimously after an increase in enrolled students wanting to stay on campus. Total headcount has dropped from 1,666 to 1,573 since fall 2012, but the average age of students attending the college dropped also, from 22.2 to 21.7, resulting in more students requesting dormitory rooms.

It is estimated to cost $6.2 million for the three-story building. The board was given a timeline for the project, beginning with schematic design in October, and ending with move-in in September 2014. Actual construction is estimated to take six months.

“You’ll see a very aggressive timeline,” Lesan said. “I think we have some staff people who twisted the architect’s arm up behind their back and made them say we can be operational next fall. Some things will have to happen for that to work out.”

Lesan said in order for construction to continue as the timeline presents, the winter will have to be mild, the board will have to make a decision quickly and construction will have to be ready as soon as spring hits.

“I think that’s doable if we get the dirtwork done, and if we get the foundation poured this fall,” said Lesan. “But, we’re going to have to be very aggressive in the timeframe.”

The board passed a unanimous vote to continue with development of plans for the dorm.

Board organization

Zach Gunsolley of Diagonal attended his first board meeting as the representative of District 6, and no changes were made on the board’s president and vice president assignments.

Kenneth Rech of Red Oak was re-elected as president of the board. He received a unanimous vote. Dennis Davis of Greenfield was re-elected as vice president of the board with a unanimous vote, also.

Mary Jo Skarda was re-elected as board secretary, and Teresa Krejci was re-elected as board treasurer.

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