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WEST JEFFERSON — The Wilkes Community College Board of Trustees met on Thursday, Aug. 8, at the WCC: Ashe Campus, discussing plans for the construction of the campus expansion project and Ashe Early College.

During the meeting, it was announced that N.C. State Construction has given final approval for the early site work portion of the Ashe Campus project, which includes site development, foundations, concrete and structural steel.

Completion for the expansion project is scheduled for March 4, 2021. Vannoy Construction will begin mobilizing for early site work the week of Aug. 12.

The board of trustees also authorized the building and grounds committee to approve a guaranteed maximum price for construction for the Ashe Campus project.

Also during the meeting, WCC President Jeff Cox recognized two Ashe County High School students who both earned their associate in arts degrees a couple of weeks prior to their high school graduation. Anna Blackburn and Chloe Parker graduated from WCC with 4.0 and 3.76 GPAs, respectively.

According to Cox, both Parker and Blackburn began taking WCC courses the summer before their junior year of high school. They each consistently carried a college load of between six and 14 hours each semester in addition to their high school schedule.

Blackburn plans to attend Washington and Lee University and Parker plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cox also gave an update on the Ashe Early College. The first cohort of 60 students to enter the early college included 16 sophomores and 44 freshmen. A principal, administrative assistant, college liaison and a counselor joined with three high school teachers and two WCC custodians to form the faculty and staff.

In other news and notes from the WCC Board of Trustees meeting:

  • The Culinary Center project is now complete and ready for the arrival of the students on Aug. 15.
  • The board gave authority to the finance committee to approve the 2019-2020 state budget allocation and other budget-related items that require action prior to the board’s October meeting, reporting the same at the October meeting. The board approved the following appropriations for the 2019-2020 fiscal year:
  • Wilkes County: regular appropriation of $3,447,958, capital outlay appropriation of $150,000, salary supplement (3 percent) of $366,000, and bond matching (3 of 5) of $202,000.
  • Ashe County: regular appropriation of $428,878, capital outlay appropriation of $15,000, non-recurring supplement-Early College High School renovation of $2,500, and salary supplement (3 percent) of $17,282.
  • Alleghany County: regular appropriation of $184,657 and salary supplement (3 percent) of $10,965.
  • The 2019-20 academic year schedule of student fees approved at the April meeting was revised with the following: a fee of $15 per year to freshmen sophomore students at the Ashe Early College High School to allow those students to participate in WCC student activities. The board approved the revised fee schedule.
  • As part of WCC’s five-year strategic plan, a goal was established to review all endowed scholarships and determine the best plan to maximize scholarship dollars. WCC combined the endowed funds into a general scholarship endowment to be called the WCC Founders Scholarship.
  • For the 2019-2020 year, the board of trustees named Terry Bumgarner to serve as chairperson; Larry Stone, vice-chairperson; and Gerald Lankford, secretary.
  • Cynthia Alford, executive assistant to the president and board liaison, administered the oath of office to the following trustees: Pamela Scott, newly appointed; Susan Murphy, reappointed; Dr. William Davis, reappointed; and Larry Stone; reappointed.

The WCC Board of Trustees will meet again on Thursday, Oct. 10, at the John A. Walker Center, Lakey Ballroom.

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