The search for a new president continues at Butler Community College.

The search for a new president continues at Butler Community College.

The Butler Board of Trustees received an update on the presidential search during their May meeting.

“We are in the process right now of in-person interviews with six semifinalists,” said Trustee Ron Engelbrect.

They had two six-hour sessions this week meeting with those candidates.

“I think we have very strong candidates,” he said.

Following the interviews, they met again with the consultant during which they narrowed the list to three or four candidates to name as finalists. Those names will be submitted to the board for board interviews and a public forum.

They expect to name a new president later in June.

In other business, the Trustees heard a proposal for remodeling work at the Hubbard Center.

“The Hubbard Center, which houses all of the student services, the last time it was remodeled was in 1995,” said Bill Rinkenbaugh, dean of Student Services.

He said the entrance includes four different types of counters.

“It just doesn’t give a very professional look,” he said. “There are different types of partitions. There also is wear and tear on counters and work spaces themselves. Counter tops are chipped off, end pieces are missing.”

In addition, the electrical needs of the departments have dramatically increased.

The remodel work also would include accounts receivable to the south and west of the entrance.

“Staff has grown quite a bit since they moved into this space,” Rinkenbaugh said. “We believe there is a better utilization of this space. We will create a more workable counter top space and waiting area in accounts receivable.”

Rinkenbaugh said they don’t have the final figures yet, but the transcript fee would be used to pay for it. That fee goes into a fund that provides services for students. It is thought to be close to $100,000.

Interim President Karla Fisher clarified that fund cannot be used on salaries, but has to go to things to better students’ experiences at the college.

Engelbrecht asked what the fee pays for now and he was told it is just sitting in a fund right now.

Trustee Candace Kunkel asked if there were any bigger maintenance issues they should put that money toward before remodeling, but she was told that is on a different system.

“Our students all come into this Hubbard Center and it’s really not looking well,” Rinkenbaugh said. “The better working conditions and better professionalism put forth is a plus.”

The item will be brought back to the board at a later meeting for approval.

In other business, the board:

• heard a report from Robert Castleberry on the Student Government. He said they had a Spring Fling in El Dorado on April 11 that was a success, as well as an open mic night.

• heard a report from Sheryle Dunbar on the operational staff. She said they will have a retreat on June 14 in Towanda. She also said the jewelry sale they held was a big success and they plan to do another one this fall. The money will used for new things taken on by the group, as well as book scholarships.

• heard a faculty report from Terry Sader.

• heard a report on the Audit Committee from Ted Dankert. They met this week but the only business was a letter of communication from the auditor, who will be on campus in June to complete the annual audit.

• heard the president’s report by Fisher. She said the main thing was their accreditation final report. They have been reaccredited and have zero recommendations which is uncommon.

• heard about the recent legislation passed by the state on a no weapons policy. The college can opt out for some time to do a study on the cost to the college. The study is required to be brought back to the board by July 1, 2016. Kent Williams, vice president for finance, said the new legislation would require a lot of expensive equipment such as scanners and personnel costs for people to be on duty at the entrances of each of the buildings. The item will be brought back to the Trustees at their June meeting to see if they want to opt out to do the study.

• approved a 50 cent an hour increase in EduCare rates across the board.

• approved a resolution to refinance the Cummins Hall debt, approving the lease transaction for $2.79 million. This will save the college $520,000.

• approved a revised tobacco-free campus policy.

• approved the consent agenda.

• accepted the retirement of Gina Austin and Jim Edwards.