Capital improvements top list for local college, school district

Officials with the Miles City school district and Miles Community College (MCC) are looking forward to what they hope will be another good year in 2017. 

According to Superintendent Keith Campbell, the school district officials are keeping their fingers crossed for the Quality Schools Grant.

If the district were to receive grant money it would help with several needed infrastructure projects across the district.

“These projects will put a small dent in the identified infrastructure needs but go a long way toward some of the immediate needs,” said Campbell in an email.

The district recently received the rankings of the district’s applications. The elementary grant was ranked No. 3 and the high school was ranked No. 5 in the state.

The elementary proposal is for $352,834 and would be used to upgrade security systems at all elementary schools.

The high school proposal is for $953,576 and would mostly be used for replacing the sewer and storm water system. 

During the last legislative session the Quality Schools Grant program wasn’t funded. Campbell is hoping this session will be different. 

MCC President Stacy Klippenstein listed seven main goals for MCC in 2017.

Klippenstein said he believes that “MCC will experience increased enrollment for a third straight year.” He said he expects the boost to include an increase in enrollment in dual enrollment courses through a partnership with Custer County District High School.

The college is also hoping to continue the conversation with the County Commissioners on the possibility of acquiring a portion of the VA Medical Center complex, which is adjacent to the college. MCC is hoping to expand housing for students with families.

In 2017, MCC will hold grand openings for the new Ag Advancement Center, as well as the Heavy Equipment Operations and CDL Training Center, which will be located in the old armory building that was acquired by the college.

Along with the grand openings MCC is aiming to have the “newly remodeled Construction Trades academic program up and running,” Klippenstein said.

The college will welcome the women’s volleyball program back this year. MCC hasn’t had a volleyball team since 2009. 

Officials also hope to complete the school’s Academic Program Prioritization process and Facilities Master Plan this year.

According to Klippenstein MCC is hoping to be viewed as a valuable investment for the legislative session and through that the college will have the necessary means to invest more in workforce training, dual enrollment and general transfer degrees.

“Although I do not possess the same foresight as Punxsutawney Phil or spidey senses as Spider Man, I believe these are the best educated guesses I can come up with,” said Klippenstein.