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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Phone interview next step in million dollar quest

  • Pratt Community College trustees also consider new business model for rodeo.
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  • Pratt Community College is participating in a very important phone call on Friday that could potentially mean $1 million to the college.
    The college will conduct a phone interview with the Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington D.C.
    Aspen is seeking the best higher education in the country for growth ideals.
    Out of over 1,200 colleges, universities and technology colleges, the institute has reduced the number to 150 and Pratt Community College is in that group.
    The interview Friday will reduce that number to just 10 institutions, said PCC President Michael Calvert at the PCC Board of Trustees meeting Monday.
    If PCC makes it into the top 10, an on campus visit will take place and if PCC is selected to the top spot, it will mean $1 million for the college.
    Calvert said he and the administration and faculty are preparing for the meeting and are very hopeful.
    While the college prepares for the Aspen call, they are also reviewing the future of the PCC rodeo and how to make it a profitable venture for students and staff.
    For years the rodeo has not made money so options are under consideration to make the event a money maker for the college.
    Among the options under consideration as the college works on a new business model are moving it to another location, not having it at all, adding more activities before the rodeo starts and many other options, Calvert said.
    A community group has been formed to explore the options and get more community involvement.
    Dances, a carnival, a cook off are just some of the options under consideration as potential fund raisers.
    One idea under consideration having a beer garden in conjunction with the rodeo.
    Calvert said he understands a beer garden will not be popular with some people. There will opposition to having it associated with a college activity.
    Part of the plan is the college would not sponsor the beer garden but it would be hired out to someone else but the college would get a share of the revenue.
    The other party would be liable for the beer garden. There would be security issues to resolve plus where the beer garden would be located.
    Trustee Michele Hamm said her gut feeling was initially no and she liked the idea of a chili cook off all day Thursday before the rodeo starts on Friday.
    Trustee Ken Van Blaricum said he wanted to know more about the economics of the beer garden and who would be responsible for running the operation.
    Also under review Monday was the vocal, instrumental and drama programs with instructor Misty Beck and J.J. Rupe.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Encore group has just returned from a trip to Tennessee where they preformed at a variety of locations including Graceland.
    Encore preforms a wide range of music and did 70 shows in high schools, assisted living, churches and other events, Beck said.
    The drama department does three shows a year and the two week summer camp for over 100 children.
    The pep band performs for games and models itself after the Stanford Band. Students from many programs participate in music and plays.
    Community members perform in the band, community choir and plays.

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