Construction, Equipment Contracts Signed for WACC Hospitality Wing
October 24, 2012
Atlantic Cape Community College’s Board of Trustees chose a contractor for the new wing to its Worthington Atlantic City Campus (WACC), elected to again pursue a solar power agreement, and approved a commercial pilot series when it met in regular session Oct. 23 at the Atlantic City campus.
The board chose Arthur J. Ogren Construction of Vineland as general contractor for the Caesars Entertainment Wing for Hospitality and Gaming Studies at WACC, with a bid of $6,186,500. Trustee Helen Walsh said the college received “very good bids” on the project--a total of nine--and the successful bidder’s price will allow the college to complete the base project as well as six of the eight alternates outlined in the bid package. The new two-story wing will contain 20,788 square feet with two teaching kitchens, classrooms, mock casino, slot lab and offices.
The board also approved the purchase of casino gaming equipment and furniture from Gaming Partners International USA, Inc., of Atlantic City, $21,517, and Majestic Industries Casino Seating, Inc., Passaic, $19,814.
Craig Testing of Mays Landing received the professional services contract for specialized testing and inspection for the Science Technology Engineering and Math building to be constructed on the Mays Landing Campus, at an estimated $100,000.
College To Open Talks on Solar Power
The board approved the administration to explore the terms of a 15-year lease and power purchase agreement (PPA) with Energenic, LLC, a subsidiary of South Jersey Industries, one of six firms that submitted proposals to the college for the design, acquisition, installation, tax ownership, commissioning, operation and maintenance of solar energy systems on the Mays Landing and Cape May County campuses.
In December 2010, the board approved a 20-year lease and PPA with Pepco and Solar Power Partners, Inc., a subsidiary of Pepco, but market conditions prevented Solar Power Partners from acquiring funding for the project. Working with Energenic, the college looks to put in place a solar energy system that is environmentally responsible and provides economic benefits to the college.
Commercial Pilot Professional Series Program Approved
To meet a community need for coursework to prepare students to become pilots, the board approved a new Commercial Pilot Professional Series program that will begin during the Spring 2013 semester. The series includes seven courses for a total of 15 credits and will prepare students for a Federal Aviation Administration license as a commercial pilot with an instrument rating. According to Otto Hernandez, chairperson, information systems and aviation, students who achieve the commercial pilot license are certified to fly cargo, charter and banner planes. He said 19 students are now in ground school through aviation classes the college offers under its agreement with Big Sky Aviation. The college has moved its flight simulator to Atlantic City International Airport for use in student training.
Board Approves Sick Leave Payment Agreement
The board approved memorandums of agreement (MOA) with the college’s four bargaining units that change, for a limited time, the sick leave payment offered to those who retire from the college by June 30, 2013. The agreement increases the payment for unused sick leave, from the $8,500 maximum level in the current contract, to $15,000, the state cap on such payments. The change will be in effect from Oct. 24 through Dec. 14.
Terms of the agreement, which was signed by Dr. Peter L. Mora, president, and bargaining unit representatives after the meeting, include:
--Payment for unused sick leave will not exceed $15,000 or 100 percent of the employee’s accrued leave. For employees who meet the terms of the MOA, payment will be made in a lump sum no later than June 28, 2013.
--Employees who choose to take the payment must make an irrevocable written commitment under the MOA to retire from the college no later than June 30, 2013.
The board approved a separate resolution extending the sick payment benefit to exempt employees. Also eligible are employees who have not retired but who had made a written commitment to the college to retire on or before June 30, 2013.
The administration initiated discussions with the bargaining units on the sick leave payment as part of a comprehensive process to develop a projected balanced FY’14 budget. The college adopted a strategic finance model two years ago that calls for it to look at ways to contain costs and enhance revenues. Knowing how many employees plan to take retirement before FY’14 begins on July 1, 2013, will provide more precise salary and benefits projections for that year’s fiscal plan. Currently, those expenses comprise about 80 percent of the college’s budget.
According to data supplied by the Human Resources office, 119 Atlantic Cape full-time employees are eligible for the payment under terms of the bargaining unit contracts. To be eligible, employees must be over age 50 and have 10 years or more of service. Of that group, 39 employees are eligible for retirement from the college and the state pension system by June 30, 2013. Atlantic Cape has a total of 355 full-time employees.
In Other Business, the Board:
--Accepted the Sept. 30, 2012, financial statement.
--Appointed Keturah Pasos of Mays Landing, office coordinator, Educational Opportunity Fund, effective Oct. 24.
--Welcomed Bonnie Lindaw, the new treasurer/CFO for Atlantic County, who attended the meeting.
In the President’s Report:
--Dr. Patricia Gentile, dean, continuing education, resource development and Cape May County Campus, spoke about the Partnership Award granted to Atlantic Cape by the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce at its recent installation dinner. The award was accompanied by commendations from Congressman LoBiondo and the New Jersey Legislature.
--Dr. Richard Perniciaro, dean of facilities, planning, research and Worthington Atlantic City Campus, and Dr. Arthur Wexler, vice president, Academic Affairs, who gave a report on the college’s Institutional Effectiveness Cross-functional Committee. That group focuses on accreditation, assessment and planning. The college’s Periodic Review Report is due to Middle States in May 2013 and will be shared with the college community before submission.
--Dr. Mora and Vice Chairperson David Evans reported on the recent Association of Community College Trustees conference they attended in Boston. Sean Fischer, executive assistant to the president/director, board services, provided a federal legislative update from the conference.
The next meeting of the board of trustees will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 27, at the Mays Landing Campus, J-202. All are welcome to attend.