CARTERVILLE -- John A. Logan College board of trustees have voted to approve a proposal from StraightUp Solar in St. Louis to build one of the largest solar arrays in Illinois on campus.
The college received proposals from three vendors for the development of the two-megawatt project on 10-to-11 acres on campus, and President Ron House and Brad McCormick, vice-president for business services and college facilities, met with each of the companies at length.
The land, located on the northeast corner of the property, has been designated as a natural prairie. StraightUp Solar sent an engineering team to campus to inspect the land and make sure "there are no surprises."
The proposal accepted includes construction, ownership and maintenance, as well as a guaranteed energy rate at or below the current energy prices for a minimum of 15 years and up to 25 years. Electricity generated from the array should provide at least 40 percent of the campus electricity demand. The college could see a savings of more than $850,000 over 25 years through this deal, or $34,040 annually, noted McCormick.
"It's a complex project," McCormick said. "But there's no bad decision here. None of these proposals will cost the college. This is all about saving the college money."
"This is a major undertaking, involving about 6,000 solar panels," said House. "It's really a win-win for everyone involved."
StraightUp Solar has installed more than 950 residential and commercial-scale solar projects in Illinois and Missouri, and has agreed to use local union labor on the project. The array is scheduled to be completed in 2020.
The board voted to issue a letter of intent to StraightUp Solar pending review of that letter by legal counsel.
Historical Village to be improved
The board approved proposed improvements to the Historical Village, including structural repairs to the Hunter Cabin, adding exterior lighting to match the historical period of the Harrison-Bruce home, and the replacement of siding, windows and wall seals to Purdy School.
The contract was awarded to WF Stift, a general contractor in Marion, for $135,500. plus $6,300 for ground electrical boxes, with the understanding that the administration will pursue a deduct change order to substitute less expensive light poles. The original poles were to cost more than $70,000, but alternatives were proposed that would reduce that amount by about $42,000.
College receives grant for campus bike trail
Brad McCormick told the John A. Logan Board that the college has received approval for a federal grant of $440,000 to be spent on extending a bike trail across campus, joining a trail that will eventually run from Marion to Murphysboro.
"This part of the project, the trail through campus, has been one of the missing pieces," he said. "Construction should be complete in 2020."
McCormick said that the college would have to provide $110,000 in matching funds and that the grant money would be coming through the Illinois Department of Transportation.
College hires operational, professional staff
The board hired the following operational staff members: Teresa Coleman as an administrative assistant for the associate dean of education technology, Jonathan Moore as a veterans' administrative assistant, and Madelynne Stroud as a part-time lifeguard. The board also hired Carol Porritt as a custodian.
The following professional members were hired: Aimee Lemrise as an adviser/counselor, Adam Dahmer as a construction management instructor, Jason Hedrick as a speech communication instructor, and Rickie Fox as a part-time substitute instructor of welding.
College hires continuing education staff
The board hired the following continuing education staff members: Audra Anderson as an instructor for a tennis camp for kids, Michael Barkdoll as an instructor for a chess camp for kids, and Rick Burkett as an instructor for a YouTube camp and a course on becoming a successful college student instructor.
The college hired Zachary Collins as a personal training instructor, Carolyn Dean to teach job interview skills, Jamie Ellermeyer and Brennan Stover as junior police academy instructors, and James Elliott as an instructor for a science camp for kids.
The college hired the following instructors: Amber Fike for the eBay -- Tricks of the Trade course, Benjamin Eric Frizzell for the Star Wars Camp for Kids, Angela Gayer for the Financial Peace University -- the Dave Ramsey Way course, Patricia Hoskins for the Kookies, Kupcakes and Kids course, Kari Karnes for the Blossomed Paper -- Learning How to Make Giant Paper Flowers and Painting with Canvas courses, Chelsea Porritt for the Crochet Basics and Self-Application Makeup courses, Francine Snider as an instructor for the How To Raise and Care For a Goat course, Brittany Roberts as an instructor for the Harry Potter for Kids course, and Mackenzie Thompson for the Fun and Fabulous Creations and Wizarding World of Harry Potter course.
The college also hired Elizabeth Null as an instructor for several Spanish camps for kids, Lindsey Harbert as a swim lessons instructor, Mark Rogers and Kylee Williams as instructors for the Cybersecurity Camp for Kids, and Rosa Amelia Schoen as a massage instructor.
Volunteers appointed, resignations, retirements OK'd
The board appointed volunteers Michael Flaninglam and Kristine McGuire for literacy, and volunteer Charlie Jones for athletics.
The board also accepted the retirement of Denis Junge, psychology instructor, and the resignations of Betsy Myatt as director of accounting services and McKena Miller as assistant women's basketball coach.