NCC increases funds for building projects

Mark Brown, Northwest Iowa Community College’s vice president of operations and finance, speaks during a special board of trustees meeting Wednesday, June 5. Board members approved an amendment to the 2018-19 fiscal year budget for NCC’s plant fund.

SHELDON—NCC stands for Northwest Iowa Community College, but it could also stand for “nonstop campus construction” because of the building projects going on at the Sheldon-based institution of higher learning.

During a nearly seven-minute special meeting on Wednesday, June 5, the college’s board of trustees unanimously approved an amendment to the 2018-19 fiscal year budget for NCC’s plant fund to increase it by $1.5 million to $3.397 million.

The college’s plant fund contains dollars that are specifically dedicated to building-related expenditures, such as new construction.

“There are really two timing issues here, both of which are positive,” said Mark Brown, NCC’s vice president of operations and finance.

He was talking about the construction projects that are being worked on at Buildings C and D on campus.

Building C soon will house NCC’s welding program, while Building D is home to the college’s automotive and light duty diesel and diesel technology programs.

Brown reminded board members that certified budget expenditures for NCC’s plant fund for the 2018-19 fiscal year were approved on Feb. 26, 2018, at $1.897 million.

“At that time, we were projecting the construction projects that would be occurring in this fiscal year and we were well aware of the welding project and the Building D renovation,” he said.

He followed up and noted the earlier-than-expected completion of conceptual design specifications resulted in the construction projects starting sooner than originally anticipated.

Brown mentioned the renovation of a roughly 6,000-square-foot area located inside Building C for the college’s welding program. H&R Construction of South Sioux City, NE, won the right to be the general contractor on the project with a bid of $664,000.

“Most of that will be done in this fiscal year,” he said. “And that’s good. We wanted it done July 1, and it looks like that primarily is going to happen.

“Fifteen months ago, I thought a little bit might move to the next fiscal year — some construction in July,” he said. “We didn’t really want that, but that’s kind of how I budgeted it, so I’m happy that those costs have accelerated into the current fiscal year.”

Brown next mentioned NCC’s Building D construction project, during which the automotive and light duty diesel portion will be fully renovated, with demolition and new construction occurring for the diesel technology part.

Estes Construction, which has offices in West Des Moines and Davenport, is the construction manager for the project, which has an estimated first-phase cost of just over $2 million.

The Building D construction project began Monday, with the renovation of the automotive and light duty diesel portion set to be completed by November and the work on the diesel technology part scheduled to be finished next summer.

“When we put that budget together 15 months ago, I planned for much of the original demolition to occur of Building D in the month of July, which, of course, would have been next fiscal year,” Brown said.

“We’re happy to report that plans and specifications and bids have resulted in the demolition and some of the renovation occurring in June of this fiscal year,” he said. “We needed to create some space for those two projects.”

There will be no increase in taxes because of the amendment to the 2018-19 fiscal year budget for NCC’s plant fund. No public comments were received on the amendment.

“Again, it’s not because of any overage of construction costs,” Brown said. “It’s just timing and accounting for it in this current fiscal year.”

In a follow-up interview, Brown explained more about the amendment.

“The certified budget amendment will not require any transfer of money,” he said. “We will simply draw down plant fund dollars a little sooner than expected. Future plant-fund revenue streams will backfill these expenditures in the next fiscal year.”