OC board approves budget

The Odessa College Board of Trustees approved its 2021-22 budget Tuesday.

The total is $74,588,865, which includes $53,223,726 in unrestricted funds and $21,365,139 in restricted funds.

The board will set the tax rate at the end of August and schedule hearings, Director of Media Relations Cheri Dalton said in a text message.

Chief Financial Officer Brandy Ham said via video that some of the budget priorities are to maintain a competitive salary environment, support OC10K (reaching 10,000 students), student success strategies and ongoing construction projects.

Some of the new initiatives in the budget included are a patient care technical program; Zogotesh customization; an honors program; digital laundry program for housing; vehicle replacement, including a 26-passenger bus and a ranch tractor.

There was also a 3 percent increase for eligible full time faculty, professional and classified staff. Mid-year performance bonuses for eligible full-time employees based on their evaluations also was included.

The board heard a report of approval of a bid for a sound system for the Odessa College Sports Center from N-Tune Music & Sound for $78,387.62.

Vice President of Administrative Services Ken Zartner updated the board on Vision 2030+. He said the Sports Center lighting project is ongoing and scheduled to be complete by Aug. 31.

Once Travis Hall is demolished, there will be a portable facility for students from the early college high schools, OCTECHS and Odessa Collegiate Academy to eat in.

Zartner said the building came in four parts that will be put together. About 800 early college high school students are expected on campus starting Tuesday.

Cruz Castillo of JSA Architects said his firm has started the design process for the Wood Health Sciences Building.

Castillo said they are completing schematic designs and expect to complete documents by the end of the year and putting the building out for bid in January or February.

Castillo said the construction period would run about 24 months.

OC President Gregory Williams said the college held its first Preview Day Fair July 22 and more than 700 people turned out.

It was hosted by academic partnerships and many scholarships were awarded. Williams said this was probably one of the first investments the college has made with its donation from Mackenzie Scott and Dan Jewett.