Iowa Valley board talks spring enrollment, approves dorm repairs

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM SODDERS Iowa Valley officials are predicting this spring’s student enrollment will be down from last year.

Iowa Valley officials are predicting lower spring enrollment compared to this time last year at Marshalltown Community College and Ellsworth Community College.

“For Marshalltown, we’re anticipating that our decrease in enrollment will be comparable to where we were for fall semester, which was better than we projected we would be down,” said MCC Provost Robin Lilienthal at Wednesday’s Iowa Valley Board of Directors meeting.

Ellsworth Provost Martin Reimer echoed that prediction for his Iowa Falls campus.

“Just like fall-to-fall there was a decrease, there will be a decrease as well in the spring,” he said.

The enrollment count is important to the district because the number of credit hours students take impacts how much money is brought by the institutions.

“It’s going to be interesting when we get our enrollment data here in the next 14 days to see where our credit hours are for spring and what that could potentially do to the budget,” said Iowa Valley Vice Chancellor of District Finance and CFO Kathy Pink.

The enrollment is collected by the Iowa Department of Education. The district officials said the final count is set to be presented at the Feb. 13 regular board meeting.

From Fall 2017 to Fall 2018, the district’s total student headcount fell from 2,888 to 2,754 according to Iowa Department of Education data.

Thompson Hall repairs

The district released a list of high-priority projects in November 2018, and two of the multiple projects on that list were on the meeting’s agenda.

A roof repair and the replacement of 114 windows at ECC’s Thompson Hall dormitory facility were approved unanimously by the board, which was missing its president, Larry Johnson, Wednesday.

The roof repair is estimated to cost $210,000 while the window work is predicted at $211,000. District officials said because the cost of each project came in at estimated costs over a $135,000 threshold, state law requires that a professional architect be brought in as counsel on the projects. The district brought in TSP Inc. as counsel as a result.

“We’re asking for your approval so we can move this project forward so we can get it laid out,” Pink said.

She said there are still several steps before work can begin at Thompson Hall. Any plans for the projects will have to get the board’s approval and bids will be sent out for the work to be done on the building.

Also on the district’s high-priorities project list are an MCC parking lot repairs at $673,000, $130,000 for room partitions at Iowa Valley Continuing Education in downtown Marshalltown, $105,000 for carpet, ceiling and tile work at MCC and Iowa Valley Continuing Education, among many others. All the costs listed are estimates.

The next Iowa Valley Community College District Board of Directors meeting is set for Feb. 13 at the District Administration Office, 3702 S. Center St.

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Contact Adam Sodders at

(641) 753-6611 or

asodders@timesrepublican.com