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By Linda Bagwell
At its regular January meeting Thursday, Jan. 13, the Weatherford College Board of Trustees selected Hahnfeld, Hoffer, Stanford Architects of Fort Worth for architectural and engineering design services for an academic building and softball field on the Weatherford campus and approved the firm to provide preliminary services for a new agriculture/arena center.
Representatives from Texas A&M, which had previously been selected by the board to oversee WC construction projects, reviewed HHSA’s fee proposal and made the final recommendation to the trustees for its selection.
“This provides an excellent team to initiate these capital improvement projects that will greatly benefit Weatherford College and the community,” said board chair Frank Martin. “The softball field brings us nearer to closure of our Title IX issues and will enable us to meet our target date for conference play in the 2012 season.”
In another major decision, the board voted unanimously to outsource the operations and management of the WC Bookstore to Texas Book Company. The approved six-year contract will begin March 1, with the first day of business March 28.
“Outsourcing the operation and management of the bookstore in these tough economic times could be a means of buying valuable expertise from an organization with cutting-edge technologies and services while guaranteeing a steady income flow to the College,” said Andra Cantrell, vice president of financial and administrative affairs.
Texas Book Company, selected and recommended by a review committee made of WC faculty and staff, offered many benefits to the College, including, among others, the assurance that existing personnel will retain their positions in the bookstore at their current salaries; a renovation of the current bookstore; outfitting stores on other WC campuses and a guaranteed annual payment for commission percentage of bookstore gross sales. The agreement also calls for advanced technology with an integrated Web site, allowing students who register online to go directly from registration to purchase their books.
Officials said students will benefit from Texas Book Company’s three-prong purchasing options: 1.) new books 2.) used books and 3.) book rental, which will cut the cost of a book in half. Downloads of E-books may be available for some courses and programs, too.
“We felt that Texas Books was a fit for us in customer service and customized plans for the best service for our students and faculty and staff,” said Tonya Edwards, president of the Faculty Senate and Bookstore Committee member. “We did not get the same feeling from the other larger stores who made proposals.”
The item passed 6-0 (trustee Elaine Carter was not able to attend the meeting).
In his President’s Report, Dr. Kevin Eaton told the board that spring enrollment stood at 4,930 students, up five percent over this time last year, and up 17 percent over a two-year period of time
“Our students have clearly embraced the online registration process, thus frontloading our enrollment numbers quite a bit,” Eaton said. “I would expect to see a slight drop in our enrollment percentage numbers over the next week; however, I do anticipate that we will end up with a three to four percent increase, as compared to last spring.”
In other action, Sue Coody, Ann Marshall, Kay Meredith, Rhonda Torres and the entire Developmental Reading and Writing Department were recognized for being granted national certification from the National Association for Developmental Education. Only 10 colleges and universities in the State of Texas and 39 nationally hold this distinction.
“This is truly an honor for our Developmental Reading and Writing Program and for Weatherford College,” said Eaton. “On Feb. 24, at an awards luncheon in Washington, D.C., our program will be recognized and a certificate presented.”
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the WC Board of Trustees is Feb. 10, 2011.