Architectural and schematic drawings for the planned new science and math facility were approved by the Tusculum College Board of Trustees as they held their fall meeting in conjunction with Homecoming 2013.
“With approval from the Board of Trustees on the drawings and the public celebration and groundbreaking in the afternoon, Friday was an exciting day for celebrating the Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math,” said President Nancy B. Moody.
Architect John Fisher presented the updated plans that include a four-story structure of approximately 88,000 square feet. Interiors include wings for biology, chemistry, mathematics, computer science and environmental science. There will also be lab space and research areas for both faculty and students.
The ground floor features the environmental science wing with a loading dock, as well as larger general classroom spaces and classrooms equipped for distance learning programs. A large lecture hall will also be included on the ground floor.
In other action, an updated Strategic Plan was presented and approved. The board also gave final approval to a $30.7 million budget for 2013-14 and approved tuition and room and board rates for the 2014-15 academic year. The new rates reflect a 1.9 percent increase in tuition over the previous year, well below the national average, according to Steve Gehret, vice president and chief financial officer.
“With the updated strategic plan and the approved final budget, the Board of Trustees went a long way in securing the vision for the future of Tusculum College. As we watch the development of new Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math and marvel at the completed residence halls, we also have a firm plan and foundation for the future,” said Dr. Ken Bowman, chair of the Board of Trustees and 1970 graduate of Tusculum College.
Dr. Blair Henley, vice president for Information Systems and chief technology officer, reported that the Information Systems department is in the final stages of implementing campus wide wireless access. Implementation will continue throughout October.
Henley also reported that fall dual enrollment courses, a new program with Tusculum College and regional high schools offering courses to those students for dual high school and college credit, is showing good numbers. There are currently 30 students enrolled in classes, including composition, U.S. history, probability and statistics, psychology and world literature.
Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Frankie DeBusk reported that the college will be announcing the hiring of Tusculum College’s first coach of Women’s Lacrosse in the near future. Recruiting will occur in the next year, with the first games scheduled for spring 2015.
Officers for the 2014-15 year were elected for the board. Officers elected included all returning officers, Chair, Bowman; Vice Chair, Edward J. Kormondy; Treasurer, Dwight Ferguson, and Secretary, Mark R. Williams.
Bowman, who currently resides in Apollo, Pa., has been a member of the Board since 1998 and chair since 2006.
Kormondy, a member of Tusculum’s Class of 1950, is chancellor emeritus of the University of Hawaii-Hilo in West Oahu and currently lives in Los Angeles, Calif. He has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 1998. Ferguson joined the board in 2009. He is retired from Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc., located in Erwin, where he served as president and chief executive officer from March 1992 until January 2009. Williams, of Greeneville, joined the Board in 2001. He is a broker with Century 21 Legacy.
Also re-elected for an additional term as board member were Bowman, Dr. Larry Brotherton, Dr. Robert S. Cowles, III, Dr. Dan Donaldson, Charlotte Gray, Kormondy, Rev. Lester Lattany and Williams.
The next meeting of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees is February 7-8, 2014.