The Navarro College board of trustees held their monthly meeting Thursday night in a newly completed building on the Waxahachie campus.

Following the grand opening ceremonies for the new classroom and administration office building, trustees met in the building’s conference room, receiving financial reports, approving policy changes and discussing a proposed renovation of the Cook Education Center.

Dr. Darrell Raines discussed the college’s financial condition.

“There is no increase in the overall budget,” he said. “To meet some department funding requirements, there are some internal monies that were moved, keeping the budget the same.

“Our revenues are running ahead of schedule. We are very comfortable with where we are at this time,” Raines said.

Raines also reviewed changes to the purchasing section of the Navarro College Administrative Policies and Procedures manual.

The section has been updated to include an overview of Texas public purchasing laws as well as changes in the college’s procedures. Previously, purchases between $2,000 and $10,000 required three informal bids and purchases more than $10,000 required a formal bid. As revised, formal bids now are required for purchases over $25,000, with three quotes required for purchases between $10,000 and $25,000.

In addition, a new section on rules and procedures for use of college procurement cards was added to the manual, a result of the board’s recent approval of their use.

A proposed change to the sick leave policy was read and discussed on first reading.

The current policy has references that support staff will not accrue sick leave during the orientation period. The updated policy allows support staff to accrue sick leave during the orientation period, as administrators, faculty and paraprofessionals are allowed to do.

The trustees agreed to form a study committee of board members and support staff regarding expansion of the Cook Education Center.     

Dr. Tommy Stringer made a presentation to the board outlining the possibilities and limitations of the facility as it is.

“After being there for 10 years, we have a better idea of what we need,” Stringer said. “There are no classrooms, per se. There is a severe traffic issue when there are large groups. We have no conference area for groups and we need to expand the kitchen.”

The center also is used for proms, reunions, weddings and youth group camps, Stringer said, noting, “The atrium has become a civic center for Corsicana.”

Opportunities for an expanded center include traveling exhibits, being able to divide the facility with movable partitions and conference area for groups of up to 50 people. Trustee Lloyd Huffman noted the importance of being able to display the arrowhead collection while making the center functional.

“We have some excitement here. We need to appoint a committee to get started,” Homer Wasson said, asking trustees Dr. James Price and Huffman, along with Stringer, to look at the center’s possibilities.

The campus presidents each gave a video update of their respective campuses, outlining their growth in terms of contact hours and student population.

They also discussed the integration of the dual credit program for high school juniors and seniors. Qualified students, instead of taking high school advance placement classes, can enter the dual credit program and earn high school credit as well as college credit while completing the same class.