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Internet service, moving grotto OKd

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Fort Scott Community College Board of Trustees approved a number of proposals during its regular monthly meeting Monday night at FSCC.

Among them was approval of Internet service by Cox Business to the HVAC (heating, air-conditioning and ventilation) Building in Pittsburg. There is currently no Internet access for the building and FSCC President Clayton Tatro said the service was "well-warranted" from a productivity standpoint for instructors and students alike.

Trustees also voted to obtain the services of S&S Recovery to collect on unpaid accounts.

"We feel comfortable with this company," Tatro told the board.

He said the firm offers a 30-day grace period, where if an account is paid within 30 days, no fees will be charged to FSCC.

Trustees also agreed to sign a membership agreement with KanREN, the Kansas Research and Education Network, for $44,212 a year. The network distributes Internet connectivity to all of the state's institutions of higher learning. FSCC has used KanREN for about 18 years.

The board also approved an agreement with Var Resources to provide spam filters for college email accounts. The current service, does not cover all email accounts at FSCC. Var Resources is comparably priced at $9,863 and would provide more comprehensive coverage.

State Farm Commercial insurance has decided to eliminate school bus coverage, so on Monday, trustees decided to select Gross Insurance to cover the 15 passenger vans and one Greyhound bus for a $4,033 per year premium. The company does not limit the number of insurable vehicles. FSCC will retain the services of State Farm for the rest of its fleet.

Upon the recommendation of Tatro, trustees also approved the removal of a massive prayer grotto from the Burke Street Campus to Mary Queen of Angels Church. The grotto currently stands on property purchased from the church by FSCC at the school of nursing.

Tatro received a letter of request from church member Shane Walker, who said members of the church built the grotto nearly 100 years ago.

"I know to a lot of people this would just be considered a bunch of stones," wrote Walker. "But to our parish, it is far more."

Tatro agreed and urged trustees to approve the request.

"I see no harm and a lot of good with this," Tatro told trustees. "It needs to be where it can be appreciated."

The board also approved $10,400 for FSCC baseball and softball umpires for this spring season. Some $7,232 will go to pay men's baseball umpires, while $3,168 will pay for women's softball officials. The baseball team has more home games and the officials are generally paid more, thus the difference.

Trustees also approved spending $19,200 for a ventilation system for welding courses at the Construction Trades Building in Pittsburg. Tatro said about $27,500 was raised, entirely in Crawford County, for the project. USD 250, Pittsburg, the city of Pittsburg and numerous Crawford County businesses raised the money for the project. FSCC currently conducts two morning classes and one night class at the site.

Tatro also announced during his President's Report that FSCC honor students will be recognized during half-time of the FSCC-Brown Mackie basketball game Wednesday night at Arnold Arena.

Trustees tabled a vote on a couple of items until the February meeting, including one to form a Board Facilities Committee. Within the next two years, Tatro said he believes the cosmetology program in Pittsburg will need find another home. He said Vinyl Plex, where the school is currently located, has allowed FSCC to use its building for $1 per year, but is paying more than $36,000 per year in taxes on the structure. Tatro said a facilities board will help when situations like this arise.

During its February meeting, trustees also will consider a request for an exemption to the alcohol beverages policy at FSCC for it annual scholarship auction. FSCC currently does not allow alcoholic beverages on campus, but would like the option of serving them on-campus during its auction.

The auction, which Tatro said has "outgrown" the Liberty Theatre, raises money for academic scholarships at FSCC.

The board also thanked Dean of Student Services Steve Armstrong for his years of service and welcomed Bob Goltra as his predecessor.

FSCC football coach Curtis Horton reported on his recruitment process, saying he was looking for 43 players from throughout Kansas and 16 others from the rest of the U.S.

"It's all about getting out and selling our team," Horton said. "I'm looking for blue- collar kids who will learn how to get up and go to work and hopefully take that with them when they leave here."

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