College spends another $100K on apartments

Costs on the Student Apartment complex debacle continued to rise, as the Board of Trustees voted to give Schenk, Price, Smith & King, the Morristown-based law firm that is negotiating a take-over agreement with the College’s insurer for the project, an additional $50,000 for legal services.

Combined with the $155,000 allocated over the summer and $55,000 allocated at its meeting last October, the board has given the firm over $260,000 and still has no contract to show for it.

An additional $50,588 was given to Thorton-Tomasetti Group for engineering services related to the apartments. This is on top of the $123,920 the board gave to RAP/Mosher & Doran over the summer for engineering services for the apartments.

Other allocations for construction included $54,500 to Farewell Mills Gatsch Architects to provide services related to stabilizing the William Green Farmhouse. The College has been working to get state funds to restore the house in addition to seeking private donors.

The board also approved a seven percent merit increase in the salary of College President R. Barbara Gitenstein. According to the board’s resolution, the board conducted a performance evaluation in the fall of 2005 and concluded that Gitenstein’s performance was “fully satisfactory.”

“We have a lot to be proud of,” Stacy Holland, board chair, said of Gitenstein’s performance. “We are extremely, extremely pleased she is leading this institution.”

In her President’s Report, Gitenstein praised the College for its successful Fall semester and looked forward to the new Corzine administration.

The College had a “typically busy and productive semester,” Gitenstein said.

She also said that she and other college presidents were speaking to the Corzine transition team and were hopeful for the future of higher education in the state.

“The landscape is not clear yet,” she said. “But we have reason to be optimistic.”

Gitenstein said she was particularly hopeful that the state and Corzine would support capital building projects for the College.

The board approved a resolution allowing a tuition waiver program for children of full- and part-time Communication Workers of America (CWA) Local 1031 unit members. CWA represents College secretarial and administrative staff.

The board also approved a series of personnel actions.

It approved the retirements of James Allen, a supervisor in Building Services, Anthony Evangelisto, professor of education administration, and Keith Finkral, professor of technological studies.

The board formally accepted the resignations of Derek Peterson, assistant professor of history, Brian Murray, director of Campus Planning and Construction, Maura Moore, a professional services specialist with the office of Records and Registration, and Kim Rafferzeder, a conference coordinator with Conference and Meeting Services.

It also terminated librarian Deborah Sheesley.