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posted: 8/21/2014 5:30 AM

Waubonsee's new budget includes new field house, renovations

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The Waubonsee Community College board adopted a $96 million budget Wednesday afternoon that projects spending $9 million more than what it will receive in fiscal year 2015, which began July 1.

However, much of that deficit is due to spending in its operations and maintenance fund, restricted, where college officials have set aside money in previous years for major capital projects. The college is renovating its Erickson Hall athletics facility and building a new field house on the main campus in Sugar Grove. That fund will begin the year with a balance of $50.5 million, receive $4.7 million in transfers from other funds and spend $15.07 million.

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Other capital projects include renovating physics laboratories and classrooms, planning a remodeling of the Copley Campus in southeastern Aurora and fire-suppression work at the Aurora Campus.

The budget is about $8 million less than the 2014 budget. It did not contain projected end-of-year actual revenue and expenses for 2014, just figures through April 30. The Erickson Hall and field house work also was in the 2014 budget.

No members of the public attended the public hearing on the budget. The board did not discuss the budget, other than Trustee Dr. Richard Bodie.

"It is really a good put-together," he said. "It is good reading."

Trustees James Michels and Jim Pilmer were absent from that portion of the meeting. Michels was absent as he deals with the death of his wife, Carole, whose funeral is Friday. Carole Michels was a member of the WCC Foundation from 1994 to 2011, college President Christine Sobek noted at the start of the meeting.

The budget reflects the 4 percent tuition increase, to $104 per credit hour, which the board adopted earlier this year. Student fees per credit hour were also raised, by 60 percent, from $3 per credit hour to $8 per credit hour.

The budget is based on receiving 3.4 percent more in property taxes. Property taxes account for 52.8 percent of all revenues, while student tuition and fees make up 24 percent, and auxiliary enterprises -- such as building rentals and student bookstores -- account for 15 percent. State revenue is budgeted at 6.75 percent.

The district owes $74.3 million in principal and $4.85 million on money borrowed mostly to complete its 2020 Master Plan, which included adding a campus in Plano and building a new campus in downtown Aurora. The debt runs through 2026.

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