KCC seeks support for new student center
Voters in Roscommon County’s 11 townships will be asked to approve a capital improvements millage for Kirtland Community College May 7.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters are asked to vote in their respective townships.
The Kirtland millage will be sought throughout the COOR Intermediate School District, which encompasses not only Roscommon County, but also Crawford, Ogemaw and Oscoda Counties.
KCC President Dr. Thomas Quinn, at a recent Roscommon County Commissioners’ meeting, said the college will be seeking .20 mil (20 cents per $1,000 taxable value) for 18 years (or the cost of one large pizza per year for a homeowner with a $100,000 home).
“I think that’s a manageable mil levy for the people,” Quinn said.
The mil is being requested for construction of a new student center because the 1996 debt levy will expire in 2015 and the current student center is in disrepair.
The student center has had only one significant renovation, in 1981, Quinn said, and is not large enough to accommodate the number of students Kirtland currently serves. When it was first built, there were 348 student attending, as opposed to the approximately 3,000 who currently attend.
The proposed new building – 36,000 square feet – would house not only a cafeteria and bookstore (as the current facility holds), but would serves as a “one stop-shopping place” for students, Quinn told the Resorter.
Plans include an administration area, registrar’s office, registration and financial services offices, testing and study areas and a wellness center. In addition, the building would have areas for potential academic programs such as exercise science and physical therapist assistant. The facility would also serve large community groups, he said.
A new facility would also put into use green technology systems to optimize energy usage and savings.
In a recent student survey, the student center was voted “Worst Building on Campus.”
Some of the existing building’s problems include a lack of food storage, corroding copper pipes, roofing problems, cracks in walls from the building shifting over time and poor insulation. Quinn said it also has no sprinkler system. The law enforcement students currently do not have a center in which to exercise, he added.
Quinn said any renovation would be almost as expensive as a new building and in order to keep serving the community and to attract more students, the student center is a vital part of KCC’s future. The public needs to understand the importance of creating a campus that fits the needs of the students, he added.
Quinn said the existing facility is a “tired building.” He said with a new building, “We can bring better services and a greater economic impact to the area.”
Public Relations Director Sarah Madonna said for legal reasons the millage proposal language cannot be called a renewal because the college is seeking a capital levy as opposed to a debt levy. She emphasized the capital millage would not be an additional levy. If approved, it would take effect when the current debt levy expires in 2015.
“Voters are already supporting us. We are just asking for a continuation of their support,” Madonna said. “We don’t want to burden the community, we want to benefit the community.”
KCC Charter Millage Proposition
Shall the charter tax rate limitation of 0.2 mill of Kirtland Community College, Michigan, be increased by 0.2 mill ($0.20 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a period of 18 years, 2015 to 2032, inclusive, to be used only for capital improvements and for paying the principal and interest on any outstanding bonded indebtedness of the community college district; if approved, the estimate of the revenue the community college district will collect in the first year of levy, 2015, is approximately $581,917?