Paris Junior College Regents approve upgrades, tax abatement
Renovation to bring updated facilities to the Paris Junior College Grimes Natural Sciences wing in the Administration Building will proceed after the PJC Board of Regents approved a contract with SHW Monday evening to do the modernization at a projected cost of $1.5 million.
“The expansion will hold 400 students in new classrooms,” said PJC President Dr. Pamela Anglin. “Three classrooms will have instructional television equipment, and there will be faculty offices, study and conference areas, a handicap ramp to provide wheelchair access, and a nice open student area.”
Faculty and classes currently housed in the Natural Science wing will relocate to the new Math and Science Building, slated to open for business with the spring 2013 semester. The social science faculty and classes will move into the wing when renovations are complete in August, 2013.
The regents approved a $27.2 million, 10-year tax abatement for Paris Regional Medical Center’s Northward Bound Project, including upgrades to the south campus.
To help students in the jewelry and health occupations programs the regents reduced the differential tuition rate from $75 to $40 per semester credit hour. The reduction should help students stay in school and finish these programs.
In other business, the board:
- Renewed use of the tuition formula for Continuing Education in the coming year that allows the program to break even on their course offerings.
- Approved a contract with Sulphur Springs ISD to teach high school students at the PJC – Sulphur Springs Center at a reduced tuition rate, in effect for students attending the Center early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Students may earn six to seven hours a semester in dual credit starting with their junior year. The ultimate vision of the school district and the college is for students to have the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree by the time they graduate from high school.
- Received a report from Dr. Anglin about architectural plans drawn up for workforce training centers in Greenville and Sulphur Springs. The cost estimate for Greenville is $6.1 million with no need for new infrastructure. The Sulphur Springs facility would be $6.5 million due to the need for new infrastructure. The renderings will assist PJC in soliciting support from local entities for the future buildings.
- Was updated on the closing next week on a facility owned by Paris Fitness and Aquatics. The former Aerofit building at 950 E. Austin St. will be purchased for $400,000. Ownership of the facility will allow the college to expand physical education course offerings and continuing education and community courses.
- Heard a report from Regents Berdie Gibson and Ginna Walker Bowman about attending the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Leadership Conference. Both regents praised the information they received about improving student learning and success.
- Approved the hiring of Director of Workforce Training Bettye Finnell and the resignation of Scott Edwards, director of the PJC – Greenville Center.