MCC seeks more money for armory upgrade project

Miles Community College continues to work on the renovations of the former armory which will house the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and Heavy Equipment Operations programs, the MCC Board of Trustee learned at Monday’s meeting.

The college is working closely with Stevenson Design in the design phase.

While officials had hoped to have the building ready for the fall 2016 semester, plans have changed. The inside will not be ready but the outside area will be available to use for driving, digging and more.

According to  Lisa Smith, MCC’s vice president of administrative services  the college recently submitted a request to increase the Economic Development Administration (EDA) Financial Assistance Award by $244,000. The increase is to address issues with the renovation. The issues weren’t identified when the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application to purchase the armory was submitted. 

“We hope to receive additional funds to help us complete the renovations and utility upgrades as identified by Stevenson Design,” said MCC President Stacy Klippenstein. 

The issues include replacing the restrooms, modifying the electrical system and installing an exhaust ventilation system. 

The EDA application has been submitted but MCC does not know if it has been approved. 

The design plans for the armory include adding three classrooms, two offices, a simulator room, and a ventilation system. In addition, the restrooms will be moved and the shop/parking areas and the classrooms/offices will be separated. 

For renovations to the exterior of the building an Exterior Insulation and Finish System (EIFS) application was submitted. 

MCC also hopes to add privacy flats and landscaping, move the fence, and insulate and improve the appearance of the exterior of the building, Smith said.

Also discussed at the meeting were the summer renovation projects.

According to Jessie Dufner, vice president of enrollment and student success, the new air conditioners in the dorms are up and running, signifying the completion of Phase 2 of the project. Next summer the college will add AC units to the Quad. 

Other projects the college has been working on this summer include adding an automatic sprinkler system, new carpeting, landscaping and painting, and completing the Vo-Tech building’s roof and updating its lounge.

“It’s all well worth the money,” Smith said. “The lounge is really cleaned up and a nice place to go and have lunch.”

Dufner also updated the board on the changes happening at the Centra, the college’s gymnasium.

Centra Director Mike Turck ordered 10 Battle Balls — think hamster balls for people — and they have arrived. He is putting together rental packages for the community. They will also be used for orientation and other student activities. 

Turck continues to evaluate the use of the Centra and possible changes to be made to increase revenue. 

According to Dufner, the coaches, Turck and herself will be meeting soon to decide how to use the space that opened up recently when CrossFit, a business that leased space but relocated to a location on Palmer Street, moved out.

Progress continues on the Ag Advancement Center,  the board learned.

On June 30, Klippenstein, Smith, members of the the Endowment Board, and representatives from Stevenson Design and the Jackson Contractor group opened the sub-contractor bids for the Ag Advancement Center.

Total construction costs for the center is $3.4 million.

The groundbreaking ceremony will be Aug. 4 at 9 a.m. at the project site on the West End Campus. The building is expected to arrive Aug. 15. 

The next meeting of the board of trustees is slated for Monday, Aug. 22.