VGCC welcomes Wright back to Board of Trustees, gets grants update

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Vance-Granville Community College’s Board of Trustees welcomed home a familiar face at its bi-monthly meeting on Monday, Jan. 26, and received an update on grants received in 2014.

Danny W. Wright of Henderson was sworn in by District Court Judge J. Henry Banks to the seat previously held by Vance County Schools Superintendent Ronald E. Gregory.

Wright, appointed by the Vance County Board of Commissioners, will fill the unexpired term through 2018. Gregory had served since March 2007, when he was appointed to finish out the term for T.W. Ellis, Jr. A long-time Vance County commissioner, Wright previously had been appointed to the VGCC board in November 2011 by N.C. Gov. Beverly Perdue to complete the term of retired educator Henrietta H. Clark of Henderson. His first term expired in 2013.

Wright is a certified public accountant who retired in 2010 from the Vance County Board of Commissioners after serving for 28 years. He serves on the Cardinal Innovations Governing Board and was an executive board member of the Kerr-Tar Council of Governments for 26 years.

The trustees heard reports on VGCC’s success in obtaining grants and with Continuing Education class visitations in a report from the Curriculum Committee, chaired by Michele Burgess.

The college won grants totaling $1,292,197 in 2014: Education and Workforce Innovation Grant, $800,000; Duke Energy Scholarships, $6,000; Duke Energy Equipment, $237,757; NCWorks Career Pathways, $70,000; NCWorks Job-Driven Initiative, $147,000; Minority Male Mentoring, $19,440; Project Skill-UP, $10,000; and Rural Community College Alliance, $2,000. 


Combined with $2,643,722 received from grants in 2013, the college has been awarded “right at $4 million since starting the grant initiative under (VGCC President) Dr. (Stelfanie) Williams’ leadership,” Dr. Ken Lewis, vice president of institutional research and technology, said in making the report.


Dr. Angela Ballentine, vice president of academic and student affairs, reported that VGCC has exceeded the requirements for class visitations of Continuing Education and Basic Skills classes.


Also Monday night, the board received an update on the construction of Building 10 from the Building Committee, chaired by Trustee Donald Seifert. The sewer system upgrade project has been completed at a cost of $115,656, which is $7,144 under the bid price. The work is pending final inspection, according to Steve Graham, vice president of finance and operations for VGCC.


With the sewer system upgrade finished, attention turns now to renovations of the existing structure, formerly a retail and service center, to house classrooms for Emergency Medical Services, Fire/Rescue Programs, Basic Law Enforcement Training, Law Enforcement In-Service training and other workforce programs.


Seifert said the State Construction Office has reviewed final working drawings and construction documents. As the schedule stands presently, VGCC will receive bids on March 17, construction will start April 5 and the project will be completed in October. The building is located beside the Staples distribution center across from the college’s main entrance on Poplar Creek Road.


Seifert also noted that roof repairs at three buildings on Main Campus will be bid in mid-February with a starting date for construction in mid-May.


In other action:

• The board approved mid-year budget amendments after a presentation by the Budget Committee, chaired by Trustee Abdul Rasheed. The State Current Fund for 2014-2015 as amended is $24,584,147; the County Current Fund, unchanged, $2,351,262; Institutional Fund, amended, $15,217,417; for a total Operating Budget of $42,152,826. The Capital Improvement budget was amended to $1,358,135. The combined amended 2014-2015 total budget is $43,510,961.

• Informational reports were given by the Personnel Committee, chaired by Trustee Sara Wester, and the Investment Committee, chaired by L. Opie Frazier Jr.

• The Executive Committee, chaired by Board Chair Deborah Brown, took action to receive the gift of $1.6 million from the estate of Wilbert A. “Bill” Edwards. (Information on this gift is available in a separate story.)

• Brown also announced that Bertadean Baker of the Warren County Board of Commissioners will be replacing Ruby Downey on the VGCC Board of Trustees as the Warren County liaison.

• Trustees will be attending the North Carolina Association of Community College Trustees Law/Legislative Seminar in Raleigh on April 8-10, according to an announcement from Dr. Williams.

• Dr. Williams also announced the following upcoming events at the college: Dinner Theater, April 30 and May 1; Endowment Fund Golf Tournament, May 5; and Graduation, May 15.


The next meeting of the VGCC Board of Trustees will be held on Monday, March 16, at the Warren County Campus in Warrenton. The board will hold a joint dinner meeting with the Warren County Board of Commissioners prior to the meeting.


Above:  District Court Judge J. Henry Banks Jr. of the Ninth Judicial District, left, administers the oath of office to Vance-Granville Community College's newest trustee, Danny W. Wright of Henderson, on Monday evening at the board's regular meeting. Wright is returning to the board after being appointed by the Vance County Board of Commissioners. (VGCC photo)