New education building: $44.5 million

The Board of Trustees approved financing for new contruction projects, discussed H1N1 and swore in new members at its Oct. 6 meeting. (Abby Hocking / Photo Assistant)
The Board of Trustees approved financing for new contruction projects, discussed H1N1 and swore in new members at its Oct. 6 meeting. (Abby Hocking / Photo Assistant)

By Caitlyn Camacho
Correspondent

The Board of Trustees approved the financing of a new education building, sitework and utilities upgrades at its Oct. 6 meeting. The appropriation of an amount not to exceed $44.5 million for the project was recommended by the Finances and Investment Committee.

In President R. Barbara Gitenstein’s report to the board, she named the preparations for the H1N1 flu as a new challenge facing the College. Trustees Anne McHugh and Robert Altman commented on the College’s strides to reduce risk of the H1N1 virus. According to Altman, the College has seen 115 cases of H1N1, a number that is low for a campus of this size. The committee asked to receive weekly reports to monitor and be aware of the presence of H1N1.

Speaking on behalf of the College Advancement Committee, Trustee Bradley Brewster said the College has recovered almost 100 percent of its investments since the economic crisis.

In a closed session, the Student Life and Enrollment Advancement Committee saw a presentation on financial aid, Altman said. During the board’s public session Altman reported that “of approximately 6,000 students, 73 percent of them receive financial aid” and 40 percent of $33 million in financial aid is paid for by the College.

Altman said the College will make changes in the way it looks at financial aid. A recent study recommended that the College allocate more merit-based financial aid to students identified with financial need in order to attract the best students.

The board also accepted nominations for current board members Susanne Svizeny, Christopher Gibson and Brewster to continue in their positions as chair, vice chair and secretary, respectively.

The board also saw the swearing in of three new board members. Those sworn in were Eleanor Horne as a trustee, Jumana Jaloudi, senior biology major, as student trustee and Thomas Little, junior political science major, as alternate student trustee. Svizeny said the board will soon be reconfiguring committees and committee chairs.

The board also discussed a Celebration of the Arts concert that would feature Stevie Wonder. Wonder later declined the bid. The event would have been funded by the Student Finance Board and ticket sales.

The next public meeting of the board will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 8. The time and location will be announced at a later date.