NICC seeking continuance of existing bond levy Sept. 11
Wed, 09/05/2018 - 1:21pm admin
NICC District - Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) will place a ballot measure before voters this fall, requesting approval for a continuance of the College’s existing bond levy. The NICC Board of Trustees approved the continuation at its meeting on April 16, and the measure will be on the Sept. 11, 2018 ballot in a special election.
In the Howard-Winneshiek Community School District, students benefited greatly in the last school year, 2017-2018, by attending classes at NICC-Cresco. There were 206 students who took college credit for a total of 1,711 credits. That was a savings to families of over $980,000. The numbers for adult and high schoolers include 357 students taking 3,862 in college credit classes.
The college’s first bond levy of $35 million in December 2007 passed with a supermajority of voters’ support in the district. The continuance of the existing bond levy would generate funding not to exceed $39 million.
NICC determined that new bond levy funds are required to address needed renovations and updates throughout its 5,056-sq.-mile district and identified four major priorities: educational programming and services, infrastructure, security, and technology.
NICC President Liang Chee Wee, Ph.D., believes that the continuation of the current levy will allow the College to continue to address aging facilities and increase operational and energy efficiencies, enhance physical and cyber security measures and stay current with ever-changing technologies for education and operations. The continuation also allows NICC to adapt current spaces to support programs and services to meet growing employer and workforce expectations, and support new and developing models of teaching and learning.
“Facilities at our campuses and service locations continue to age with some infrastructures constructed in the late 1960s and 1970s. To identify our major priorities, we reviewed our Master Facility Plan and incorporated input of students, faculty and staff. The teaching and learning needs continue to evolve and workforce needs also change rapidly, particularly with the introduction of new technologies. The support of voters in northeast Iowa will allow NICC to continue to educate and train our region’s workforce of tomorrow,” Dr. Wee stated.
Educational programming and services priorities include:
• Creating flexible and collaborative learning spaces
• Updating classrooms and labs
Infrastructure priorities include:
• Renovating Peosta campus’ 1970s-era main building involving classrooms, labs, student and community areas
• Replacing aging parking lots, HVAC systems and water lines
• Renovating instructional spaces on the Calmar campus
• Expanding spaces to enhance student and community experiences
• Renovating downtown Dubuque service locations to meet the expanding classroom and programming needs of the community
• Implementing sustainability practices
Security priorities include:
• Installing district-wide security camera system and entry locks
• Integrating communication system between campus buildings at Calmar campus
Technology priorities include:
• Updating instructional technologies to meet educational programming needs of the College’s multiple service locations and K-12 partnerships
• Replacing network servers
• Installing a print management system
• Upgrading the phone system district-wide
The College’s current property tax levy rate for the bond and interest fund is set at $0.288 per $1,000 assessed valuation, and the new bond issuance, if approved by district voters, is structured to be paid off at this current $0.288 levy rate. The College’s tax base includes public school districts in Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek counties, as well as sections of Bremer, Buchanan Jones, Jackson and Mitchell counties.
NICC serves a district area of 5,056 square miles and has two campus locations in Calmar and Peosta, and seven service locations in Cresco, Dubuque, Manchester, New Hampton, Oelwein and Waukon. From 2016-2017, a total of 6,299 students enrolled in academic programs at the College and more than 20,573 continuing education students enrolled in business and community solutions courses.