May 30, 2020

MTCS board optimistic despite budget cuts

PRESQUE ISLE — After a period of deep budget cuts, a change in leadership and differing opinions with members of the Legislature, optimism permeated the Maine Technical College System board of trustees meeting Wednesday.

“There is a real sense of momentum, that we’re moving forward,” said John Fitzsimmons, the system’s president. “I think there is a sense on each campus that we have great legislative support, that we came out of the (legislative) session in good shape and its time to talk about how we are going to grow.”

A legislative update revealed that the Legislature had returned $1.5 million to the system’s budget and had authorized the redirection of $500,000 in a customized training loan fund. A total of $300,000 will help ease the budget deficit while $200,000 will provide financial aid to students.

Welcomed to the board were trustees James W. Donovan of Portland, representing the medical community; Richard H. Campbell of Brewer, a general contractor; and Frederick J. Kahrl. of Arrowsic. Kahrl, a human resources specialist at Bath Iron Works, has served on the board since 1985 and recently was reappointed. Donovan and Campbell are new to the board.

Fitzsimmons was authorized to spend up to $150,000 for comprehensive planning for the six campuses after it was determined the original $100,000 budget was not sufficient. Meetings will be held with individual campus leaders to discuss goals.

Members discussed construction and renovation projects approved in a $20 million bond issue. Projects include:

Central Maine Technical College, construction of health and safety education building, $4.8 million;

Eastern Maine Technical College, structural renovation of a multipurpose building, $1.6 million;

Kennebec Valley Technical College, construction of a child-care center and classroom building, $3.2 million;

Northern Maine Technical College, construction of a dormitory and a laboratory and classroom building, $3.6 million;

Washington County Technical College, construction of a multipurpose building, $2.4 million;

Southern Maine Technical College, construction of a clasrooom and training building for the hotel, motel, and restaurant management program, $4.2 million.

The following dates and speakers were announced for graduation ceremonies: On May 10, Rep. Dan Gwadowski will speak at WCTC; On May 11, U. S. Sen. William S. Cohen at the CMTC; May 12, Fitzsimmons at NMTC; May 18, Joseph Brennan at SMTC and U. S. Sen. George J. Mitchell at KVTC; On May 19, Mitchell will be at EMTC.

They approved donations to CMTC of $21,000 for supplies in the Graphic Arts Program from C. M. Rice of Portland, $2,000 in equipment to the Electromechanical Technology Department from Boise Cascade and a 1988 Mercury Tracer Sedan and a 1987 Ford Thunderbird valued at $20,000 from the Ford Motor Company of Southboro, Mass; to the WCTC, $18,000 in marine paint from Bath Iron Works; to NMTC, an oil burner unit valued at $885 from the Carlin Company, Windsor, Conn.

The CMTC reported on a planned delegation exchance with universities from the Paris du La Loire region of France.

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