OC awards bid for new parking lot

Odessa’s Cooper Construction had the winning bid Tuesday for the construction of 120 new parking spaces at Odessa College. Trustees of Odessa College awarded Cooper a $259,700 contract Tuesday at the regular board meeting. The new parking lot will be where Baskin Hall once stood. The parking lot is part of the college’s long-range plan. Demolition of Baskin Hall was completed in early January.
cooper_construction.gifBob Chastain, director of the OC Physical Plant, said his best guess was that OC has about 1,500 parking spaces now. The additional spaces will provide closer access to both Deaderick and Wilkerson halls, where the majority of OC classes are.

In other action, OC President Vance Gipson told the board how OC would be affected should some federal programs be cut as proposed in President George W. Bush’s budget.

Proposed programs for elimination include Gear Up, which gives OC $542,000 to fund programs to help students in junior high and high schools to get on track for college, Gipson said.

Other possible cuts could be for the Upward Bound program, the Carl D. Perkins Vocation and Tech-Prep programs. If all these programs are eliminated, the total loss to OC would be nearly $1.5 million, Gipson said.

On the flipside, however, Gipson said that Bush has proposed new funding for community colleges to the tune of $250 million for health care and technology career education.

The risk of this proposal is that the program would be nationally competitive and may benefit only a number of community colleges, Gipson said.

“So far we don’t know how all this would come about,” he said.

Gipson also reported that Bush has proposed to increase Pell Grants by a maximum of $100 per year, per qualified student.

In other business, the Odessa College Board reviewed its annual investment policy, in which no changes were made.

Virginia Chisum, OC vice president of business affairs, said the law requires that the policy must be reviewed each year, however, there were no changes this year.
Chisum also reported the college was up in revenues for January this year as compared to January 2004. Odessa College reported $13.1 million in revenues for January and $11.5 million in January 2004.

Chisum said revenues are up because tax payments are coming in sooner this year and tuition and fees are higher than this time last year.
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Cooper Construction Company Inc
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www.cooper.2e.com
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