MIDLOTHIAN – Members of the Navarro College board of directors arrived in Midlothian on Thursday afternoon. The road trip was for the dedication of the new building II at the Midlothian campus and to hold their monthly board meeting.

Two construction projects were unanimously approved by the trustees, the first for the addition of a delicatessen to the Waxahachie campus.

“There is no place for the student to eat on campus and there are no eating establishments reasonably close,” Navarro College-Ellis County President Dr. Harold Nolte told the board.

Architect Gordon Wilson was introduced and laid out his concept for the addition.

Utilizing about 3,100 square feet of the Waxahachie building, the deli was described by Wilson to be like a convenience store. It will include a line for soft drinks and packaged foods. The other serving line will have a Subway type sandwich shop and a full kitchen to prepare hot meals.

Nolte said there was a need for the deli on the campus.

“We not only have a good size need for lunch, but our evening school has just as large a need when evening students arrive from work wanting to eat before starting classes,” he said.

The deli will seat about 84 students and can be expanded as the school grows. The area also can be reconfigured for an Internet café.

While the bids have not been finalized, Navarro College President Dr. Richard Sanchez said the budget for the project is $250,000.

The other construction project is at the main Corsicana campus and designer Brian Adams described his concept of a complete redesign of the Verda Gooch Courtyard. “Currently, the courtyard has a heavy overgrowth of vegetation and the lighting is dim, leaving many students not feeling safe at night,” he said.

Adams’ plan would redesign the traffic flow while adding lighting and more pleasing walkway surfaces. The newly refreshed courtyard will have more seating areas – some with tables. There also will be more a secluded area where students will have a more quite atmosphere for reading or study.

One of the board’s concern was the shifting of the soil and problems with previous designs. Adams said his design will use materials that will have some flexibility with a sand type bed that will compensate for soil issues.

Nolte gave a presentation to the board and introduced Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce economic development committee chairman Mike Ramsey.

Nolte and Ramsey both cited the growth in Ellis County, saying the committee will look at the impact and growth needs for education in the county.

Among other announcements, Cynthia Seskes provided an update on the college’s upcoming Brilliance 2011 event, saying the theme for this year’s event is “RED,” which stands for Reading Educational Dreams. The event will be held at the Midlothian campus April 9. 

In his comments, Sanchez expressed concerns relating to the state reducing funds to the college, estimating Navarro could lose about $275,000.

Preparing for the shortage and a possible budget shortage next year, he said he has begun reducing expenses in non-essential areas.

Although the state’s funding bill has gotten out of committee, it could still be awhile until the college knows the full impact of the legislative action, he said.