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OCtech may end year with shortfall
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OCtech may end year with shortfall

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Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College could find itself with a shortfall at the end of the current fiscal year, Vice President of Financial Affairs Kim Huff said.

“We’re close,” he said. But the college could be short by $100,000 to $150,000 dollars at the end of the year.

Huff said the college has enough contingency funds in reserve to cover a shortfall.

“We’re not in panic mode yet,” he said.

Huff discussed the college’s finances at Tuesday’s meeting of the OCtech Area Commission.

The college has seen three consecutive years of declining enrollment and tuition funds, he said. The budget for the current year was based on the previous year’s budget, because revenues and expenses were expected to be similar.

Huff reported that the college has made two payments in September toward the cost of the new nursing and health sciences building under construction.

About $1.2 million has been spent on the project, about half of the college’s total payments for the building, he said.

The contractor is still projecting the building will be finished sometime in February, but Huff said he thinks it will likely be in March or April.

In other news at Tuesday’s meeting:

• President Dr. Walt Tobin noted that the college’s Evening of Fine Wines and Food event will be held Monday, Oct. 1.

He reminded commissioners that S.C. State Technical College System President Tim Hardee will be stopping at the college around 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, on his 12-day, 800-mile bicycle journey to all of the system’s technical colleges. Dubbed “Tour de Tech,” the program’s goal is to raise $160,000 from corporate sponsorships, with the money divided evenly among the colleges for scholarships.

It’s also designed to increase publicity for the state’s technical colleges and all that they have to offer.

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• Tobin reported that the college is hoping to get money from a proposed bond bill in the state General Assembly to renovate several buildings and upgrade heating and air and electrical systems.

OCtech is also requesting that the state continue to fund the S.C. Promise program that provides free or reduced tuition to technical colleges for recent high school graduates in certain areas, including Bamberg and Orangeburg counties.

OCtech also created the Calhoun Pledge program to provide the same benefit for residents of Calhoun County.

“We will continue to advocate for Promise,” Tobin said.

• Tobin reported that state government is going to forgive missed days due to Hurricane Florence.

• Representatives of the accrediting agencies for the business and automotive technology programs will be visiting campus soon, he said.

• OCtech Foundation Executive Director Faith McCurry said the college is planning for its 50th anniversary celebration.

A time capsule will be buried as part of the observance, with the contents on display at the college during the school year, she said. The college will also host viewings of films from 1968, she said.

The big event of the celebration will be the ribbon-cutting for the new nursing and health science building. There will also be an event to recognize those who donated for naming rights to rooms in the building.

The college is sharing student success stories with local media, she said.

“I think it’s going to be a good way to connect with the community,” McCurry said.

Currently, the foundation is focusing on the Evening of Fine Wines and Food event, she said. About 75 wines will be featured and the event will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1 on the OCtech campus.

The foundation’s annual giving campaign is underway, McCurry reported. Last year, the foundation raised over $100,000 for students.

• Commissioners approved three policy reviews and two policy revisions. The revisions added non-discriminatory language related to pregnancy, childbirth and related medical procedures.

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

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