"We've finally arrived," said Dr. Michael Chipps, taking the podium following a ring of applause and standing ovation in support of the boards vote. Chipps told the board they were making history at the college and praised them, as well as the administration and the McCook and North Platte communities for the positive impact they we're making.
In addition to the McCook events center the board also approved the construction of a health complex on the North Platte campus.
The McCook Community College Events Center is anticipated to begin construction prior to the first of May and be completed by March 2012.
"March madness in McCook sounds good to me," said board member Dr. Mike Owens.
It will be built on a section of Kelley Park just west of the municipal pool that was donated to the college by the city. Straub Construction of Shawnee, Kansas, was approved as the general contractor with a contract not to exceed $8,605,000.
Sampson Construction of Lincoln was approved as the general contractor for the construction of the North Platte Community College Health Complex. That project was authorized for $7,950,000 and is anticipated to be completed by July 2012.
Board member Ernie Mehl said he had previous experience working with Sampson during a school construction project, in which they came in under bid. He said he was pleased to see them involved in the health center project and expected them to operate with the same character. Sampson Construction was also chosen by the McCook City Council, Monday evening, as the construction manager for the McCook Municipal Facilities project.
Lloyd Benjamin of McCook spoke in support of the events center project, prior to the board's vote. He cited $4.3 million in local funds raised and called it the largest fund drive in McCook history. Benjamin praised the love and commitment for McCook Community College demonstrated by the donations and time put into raising them. "This is big deal for McCook," he said.
The board moved to use Ameritas Investment Corp. to underwrite the health complex and D.A. Davidson and Company to underwrite the events center. Subsequently approving the issuance of a combined total of $7.725 million in Facilities Corporation bonds to help finance the two projects.
Board members carefully reviewed the project budget and financing plan, reassured on several occasions throughout the meeting that no levy or tuition increases would be necessary.