BY CAROL ROEHM
Danville Area Community College trustees Tuesday reviewed bids and awarded contracts to begin renovations at the Hoopeston satellite campus site.
College officials plan to open a satellite campus in time for the fall 2013 semester at the Hoopeston Regional Health Center Business Office, 847 E. Orange St.
“The bids are a little more than we had hoped for, but we know we will have a nice building,” DACC President Alice Marie Jacobs told the board.
The trustees awarded contracts to the lowest qualified bidders for general contractor, electrical, plumbing and mechanical work.
The trustees approved McDowell Builders of Sidell as the general contractor for $294,263; AAA Electric of Terre Haute, Ind., as the electrical contractor for $63,450; Venture Mechanical of Danville as the plumbing contractor for $58,143; Reliable Mechanical of Savoy as the mechanical contractor for $88,610; and Prairie Fire Sprinkler of Decatur for $11,933 for fire protection.
DACC is leasing the office building from the Hoopeston Regional Health Center for a nominal fee.
The project includes removal of the building’s flat roof and the partition walls between the small offices in the building to create four large classrooms, including a computer lab and two restrooms.
“We’re hopeful construction can begin soon,” Jacobs said.
She added the satellite campus site has generated “excitement and interest in the Hoopeston community.
“We’ve had a lot of supporters,” Jacobs said, adding that the college’s foundation is continuing to raise donations to offset the cost of the project.
Vickie Miller, president of the board of trustees, agreed with Jacobs.
“I know this is a little more than we anticipated, but I think this is a good move for the college,” she said.
The satellite campus will serve a large number of students from the north end of DACC’s district who have limited resources and possibly haven’t pursued higher education because they don’t have reliable transportation.
Jacobs said she hopes at satellite campus will reduce transportation time and the expense of traveling for students in the northern end of the college’s district.
The idea for a satellite campus was hatched in 2008 when Jacobs met with Hoopeston leaders who told her they were interested in a satellite DACC location.
The Hoopeston City Council voted unanimously in June to give DACC $30,000 from Tax Increment Financing district funds for the new Hoopeston campus.
The proposed course offerings will include general education courses, including college transfer and career/technical classes, dual enrollment for students to earn college credits while still in high school, continuing education courses for enjoyment and exploring new interests, courses specially designed for seniors, English as a Second Language, adult education and contracted corporate and business training programs.
The satellite campus will be staffed by faculty who live in the northern part of the district.
The site is tentatively scheduled to be open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday. Saturday offerings would depend on interest.
The trustees also:
“It allows us to transfer, as needed, from the working cash funds to make up for deficits, primarily because of not receiving funds from the state,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs said half of the $1 million in general obligation bonds that were sold last month to purchase new technology and equipment campuswide will be spent this year. About $200,000 will be used to purchase new computers, and another $300,000 will be used to purchase instructional equipment, including new sound systems for the Mary Miller Center and Bremer Theater.