Pratt Community College continues to move forward with fund raising for a new track and soccer field facility.
Pratt Community College trustees learned at their meeting Monday, that fundraising efforts continue for the construction of a combination track and soccer field to be built at the Green Sports Complex to the east of the ball diamonds. The project has been spearheaded by PCC President Michael Calvert.
Calvert told trustees that at the last city commission meeting, commissioners approved language supporting the project.
At 5 p.m. on Oct. 1, the city commissioners will discuss issuing industrial revenue bonds for the project. The city owns the property where the new field would be located. A public hearing would also be held on issuing the bonds.
The college would make bond payments to the college foundation who then would pay the company holding the bond. The bond holder will be chosen if the bonds are approved, said PCC vice president of Finance Kent Adams.
If approved, the college would sell $3.5 million in bonds then pay them back over a five to seven year while fund raising for the project continues. The bonds would be on a 20 year note but the goal is to have it paid off in the five to seven year period, Calvert said.
Right now, the college has $2 million pledged or in the bank for the project. Part of that money is a $300,000 land and water conservation grant through the U.S. Department of the Interior and administered by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Calvert said.
The track program at PCC has no on-site facilities and having this facility available would help increase recruitment at the college.
With the fall semester under way, college enrollment is up three percent overall. While on-campus numbers are down with residence halls at 91 percent capacity, online enrollment is up especially through Edukan. Two of the colleges in Edukan, Colby and Garden City, opted to leave the consortium leaving PCC, Seward, Dodge City and Barton. This meant that students interested in Edukan spread out among the remaining schools. Pratt has the largest enrollment of all Edukan schools and that number has grown with the departure of Colby and Garden City, Calvert said.
Out of state enrollment in Edukan also continues to grow and get outside the college service area.
Lower on-campus numbers may have to do with changes in faculty and coaching staff. Depending on when the coaching change takes place, recruitment may suffer and that would impact residence hall occupancy.
With the associate degree in nursing program operating again at PCC this fall, the college is anxious the students to complete their studies and take the NCLEX test the every nursing student is required to pass before they become a nurse. Students have to pass with 75 percent or above.
The college ADN program lost accreditation because of low pass rates. It will take three years of students passing the NCLEX at the necessary level before the ADN can be considered for re-accreditation. So there is some time to go before that happens but the college is on the right track to reach that goal, Calvert said.
Current enrollment in the ADN program is 11 on the PCC campus, 10 online and nine at the Winfield campus.