032219 octech new building (copy)

Completion of Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College's new Nursing and Health Science building has been delayed, President Walt Tobin said.

The completion of Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College’s new Nursing and Health Science building has been delayed, but the college is still planning for it to open for students in the fall.

OCtech requests $3 million from state for renovations

President Walt Tobin said the contractor didn’t hit the scheduled finish date of April 11.

Community celebrating progress

“We have not gotten the keys yet,” he said Tuesday during a meeting of the college’s area commission.

OCtech health building to be complete in April

One issue that caused the delay was that the contractor didn’t account for tiled floors at the entrance by the stairs, Tobin said.

The plan is still for faculty and staff to move in during the summer and for classes to be held in the building in the fall.

OCtech and the contractor still have not established when the penalty period for the delay will start, Tobin said.

But he said the college doesn’t want to rush the construction process.

“I’m of the opinion that we want the building done right,” he said.

Tobin also announced that the college will hold an event May 6 for Nurses Week. The Home and Garden Symposium will be held May 8. The Associate Degree in Nursing pinning ceremony will be held May 13.

The final push for the “Funding Futures” giving campaign for scholarships is going on now, he said. The campaign has raised about $70,000 so far.

Tobin said that the college is projecting a tuition increase for next year’s budget. A tentative operational budget for next year will be presented to commissioners in June, he said.

Also, the college is updating policies as it prepares for the upcoming Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accreditation review, he said.

In other business:

• Vice President of Academic Affairs Donna Elmore said she recently attended a SACSCOC event for small colleges, and there is a focus on completion of degrees in a timely fashion. She reiterated that the university is doing a lot to prepare for the upcoming review.

The orientation task force will be giving recommendations, she said. The college may have to move toward something more long-term than a few days of orientation.

The curriculum committee met and recommended dropping one of the college’s welding certificates, now going with just two. Elmore said that it never really made sense to have two basic certificates.

Some new courses will be added, including dialysis, dialysis tech and therapeutic calculations, she said.

Her department is working on Early College Career Pathways and looking at dual enrollment next semester.

The college has two administrative vacancies and will also be looking for instructors in welding, biology and automotive technology, Elmore said.

In the summer, the college will hold some robotics camps, a logistics/advanced manufacturing camp and a “Girls Who Code” camp for rising sixth, seventh and eighth graders.

• Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Sandra Davis said the spring semester is coming to an end. The college will hold a “Spring Exam Bash” before the start of final exams. Grades are due May 3. Commencement will be held May 14, and summer classes begin May 20, she said.

• Director of Finance Dayna Smoak said it’s still too early to tell how the summer financial picture will look, but right now, the college is “tracking a little ahead.”

Continuing education is still steadily showing a profit, Orangeburg County has caught up on its payments and Calhoun County’s funds are expected in May, she said.

As has been the case for the past few years, bookstore revenue is down due to lower enrollment and the prevalence of electronic textbooks.

A little over $200,000 in contingency funds were used to cover a shortfall, leaving about $75,000 in the fund, she said. Budget adjustments will be forthcoming, she said.

The only current capital project is the new building, she said. All state money has been received, and no more federal funds will be coming until the building is completed.

The building’s total cost should come close to the original estimate of $12.3 million, Smoak said.

Contact the writer: chuff@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5543.


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