By Jeff Murphy, March 23, 2016
WARRENSBURG, MO – Among several action items on a busy agenda, the University of Central Missouri Board of Governors set student room and board rates for 2016-2017 when it met on campus March 18. Other items approved by the board included the purchase of new equipment for the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, improvements to the South Plaza entry area of Audrey J. Walton Stadium, the award of a contract for dredging Lake Cena, and upgraded fire alarm system for Nattinger-Bradshaw Hall.
Following information presented by Patrick Bradley, director of housing, the board authorized a meal plan increase that totals 4.10 percent for next academic year. This brings the semester cost for a first-year and sophomore meal plan to $1,515, up from the current semester rate of $1,458. The percentage increase is based on a 1.5 percent increase to fund capital improvements as per the agreement between UCM and Sodexo, the campus dining services provider, and an additional 2.6 percent increase in the “Food Away from Home Consumer Price Index.” It also factors in eight additional meals that will be provided to students participating in the new first-year experience program that begins Aug. 11, four days prior to the start of the 2016 fall semester.
The board approved a 2 percent per semester increase in room rates, making the average semester cost for a double occupancy room $2,645, up from $2,593 for the current year. A single occupancy room will cost $600 more than the double rate. Monthly apartment rates on campus will range from $567 to $878, with options that include one- to four-bedroom units, furnished and utilities included, or unfurnished with residents paying for gas and electricity.
Students residing in university housing this fall will no longer pay at the machines for their laundry. The board authorized the university to enter a five-year contract with Jetz Service, Co., Topeka, Kan., to provide laundry equipment and service for residence halls and apartments. The current equipment, which will be replaced after the existing contract expires June 30, was installed in 2009. It was coin-operated, costing students $1.25 to wash and $1 to dry. After conducting an experimental program that provided free laundry at The Crossing – South at Holden, University Housing plans to implement the free laundry initiative throughout the residence halls and campus apartments this fall. The total annual cost of this service to the university will be about $66,475.
The new contract for laundry equipment includes installation of a new laundry monitoring system, “Wash Alert,” for housing administration and students to view via the Internet or a mobile device to learn about washer and dryer availability. This also provides route operators with real-time service alerts.
Providing quality fitness equipment for use in the Student Recreation and Wellness Center and the Department of Kinesiology, the board authorized the university to enter a contract with Orthotech in the amount of $222,155. This will replace aging equipment that was installed in 2011 when the Student Recreation and Wellness Center opened and renovations were completed on the adjacent Morrow and Garrison gymnasiums and North Morrow Hall. Funding for the new equipment is made possible through a combination of reserve funds in the Department of Kinesiology and through Student Recreation and Wellness Center auxiliary funds.
The board awarded a general construction contract to Westport Construction Company, Clinton, in the amount of $239,000 for improvements to the South Stadium Plaza area of Audrey J. Walton Stadium at Vernon Kennedy Field. The work will improve storm drainage, replace cracked and broken sidewalks, and replace the retaining wall and railings to match the new sidewalk and retaining wall at the north end of the stadium.
The board approved a $274,190 contract with Mid-America Dredging, Good Hope, Ill., for lake dredging services at Lake Cena at Pertle Springs Outdoor Recreation Area. This is part of a significant improvement plan that was initially approved by the board in June 2015. The overall plan includes road improvements, accessible hiking trail and recreational facilities at Pertle.
Board members approved the award of a $285,460 contract to All Systems of Kansas City, Kan., for fire alarm system replacement at Nattinger-Bradshaw Hall. With work to be completed during the summer 2016, this will entail complete removal and replacement of the existing system, which will offer improved monitoring and reporting of fire and other critical events. The network-based system includes voice notification.