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* College, private investor, working on housing

soccer field1.jpg

The soccer field at Shoreline Community College is the preferred site for a privately funded, 400-bed student housing project.

Shoreline Community College and a local investor are moving ahead with plans to bring student housing to campus.

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Shoreline resident David X. Lee, and the college have been in discussions over the past year, according to Daryl Campbell, college Vice President for Administrative Services. Campbell presented an update on the project to the college Board of Trustees during a regularly scheduled Feb. 22, 2012 study session.

In September, 2011, Lee and the college signed a memorandum of understanding to look further at the details and viability of the project. Campbell told the trustees that both sides are now excited about moving ahead.

“Assuming the necessary processes and approvals move ahead as planned, we could start building on campus in the next year and a half,” Campbell said.

While specific details of the plan are not yet in place, the concept is to build a 400-bed housing facility that would be open to all students. The facility would likely include a dining facility, conference area, classrooms and other programming areas. Parking on campus during peak usage times is already tight so the proposal includes adding parking to accommodate the live-in students.

Project costs could be in the $20 million range, but no state funds would be used. The project would be privately funded by David Lee and his partners, Campbell said. Lee lives in the area while the son of at least one of the partners attended the college, Campbell said.

The building would be built to the LEED Gold standard. “Mr. Lee is very interested in making this building something that the college and community can be proud of,” Campbell said.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. The standards provide independent, third-party verification that a project addresses key areas of human and environmental health, including: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

The preferred location for the project is the current soccer field and track at the north end of the college property.

“We identified and toured three potential locations,” Campbell said. “The soccer field offers the most flexibility.”

The college men’s and women’s soccer teams do use the field, but the school doesn’t field a track team. “We’ve had previous conversations with the City of Shoreline about using their soccer fields (at Shoreview Park, adjacent to the college),” Campbell said.

Lee’s real estate representative on the project, Marguerite Knutson, told the trustees that they liked what they saw. “The site is level, clean with good drainage,” said Knutson, who is a broker with the Oak Tree office of Windermere Real Estate. “It has low campus impact, low neighborhood impact; great for the students.”

The college had been moving through a Master Development Plan (MDP) process with the city when the housing proposal came from Lee. Campbell said that process was put on hold over the fall and winter, but would now resume and include the housing project.

“The city has been great to work with,” Campbell said.

“Campus housing is a terrific move that would allow SCC to attract and retain some of the best students from around the world,” said Dan Eernissee, Economic Development Manager, for the City of Shoreline. “In addition, on-campus housing provides a built-in audience to attend and appreciate the hundreds of performances and exhibits already happening on campus.”

Board Chair Gidget Terpstra asked about the staffing impacts of adding housing to the college.

“There will be impacts on the organization,” Campbell said. “We’ll need an Office of Student Life, which we don’t have now.”

While the housing would be open to all students, the project would also be of significant help in recruiting international students. About 600 students from 34 countries attend Shoreline, a number that has bounced around by about 10 percent over recent years. Currently, Shoreline’s international students live in home-stay arrangements or rent housing.

In 2010, Shoreline Community College President Lee Lambert announced a strategic initiative to grow that number to 1,000 in five years. While he has said that adding college housing isn’t necessarily required for program growth, it is very helpful.

“As a parent, whether you’re sending your child thousands of miles away and across an ocean or across town, you want the most assurances you can have for their safety,” Lambert said. “College housing adds to the peace of mind for those parents who are entrusting their children to us.”

Other community colleges who have added housing have seen their international-student numbers grow in recent years. Edmonds Community College officials added housing three years ago and their numbers have continued to rise as have those at Green River and Seattle Central community colleges.

Besides building the housing, David Lee and his partners are also offering Shoreline a base for student recruitment efforts in China. “They have a beautiful new building in Xian and have offered us space in that building,” Lambert said.

Campbell said that next steps would be mainly around regulatory issues, including conversations with the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, re-starting the MDP process and first steps toward city approval.

SCC/Jim Hills

* Budget reality may meet September's hopes

The budget news out of Olympia may just put Shoreline Community College back on the track outlined this past fall by President Lee Lambert.

 

What's Next

·         All-Campus Meeting, 1-2 p.m., March 14, 2012, PUB Main Dining Room

 

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 “If the Legislature approves a budget close to the one proposed by the House Democrats, we may be back to where we were when I spoke at the Opening Week meeting in September,” Lambert said Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012. State Rep. Ross Hunter introduced the House budget bill, HB2127, on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012.

 

“In September, we knew the state budget cuts would continue, but we were putting in place strategic initiatives to help reduce our reliance on state funding,” Lambert said. “Our hope was that any state cut would be a size we could absorb, buying time for our strategic initiatives to take hold and bridge the gap without letting people go.

 

“It looks like our hopes might be realized. We just have to see what happens in Olympia.”

 

Lambert reminded that the two key strategies are internationalization and a virtual college. “We know that state support will continue to go down,” Lambert said. “Tuition increases cover only part of that and can’t be the ultimate solution. We need other ways to fill the gap.”

 

Lambert said the internationalization effort broadens the scope of college for both domestic and foreign students.

 

“Internationalization can help prepare our domestic students to live and compete in a globalized world. Washington is the most trade dependent state in the U.S. If we can prepare students to understand global issues and realities, they have a better chance to be successful,” Lambert said. “We are also working to bring more international students here. They also want to better understand the globalized world.”

 

Lambert said the tenets of the virtual-college initiative are similar to internationalization, expanding the global reach of the college, but also bringing benefits to every student.

 

“The virtual college is an acknowledgement that technology is changing education, adding ways that learning can occur and bringing the kind of online services we all have come to expect in our everyday lives,” Lambert said. “When we can give students more choices and meet their needs and expectations, everyone wins.”

 

Still, Lambert noted that any reprieve that might come from lawmakers in the coming days would likely be temporary and not a long term solution. “In looking at the longer term forecasts, it appears that we should prepare for less state support,” Lambert said. “Hopefully, we will get the time to prepare for that future.”

* All-campus meeting covers variety of topics

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Shoreline Community College faculty and staff listen during the all-campus meeting, Friday, Feb. 10, 2012.

Shoreline Community College President Lee Lambert borrowed a line from the state of the union address during an all-campus meeting Friday, Feb. 10, 2011.

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“We’re a college built to last,” Lambert said in his introduction, paraphrasing President Obama’s statement.

In his opening remarks, Lambert said the initiatives being put in place, expanding online offerings and services to create a virtual college and internationalizing the campus, are designed to prepare the college to meet the needs of students and the state.

Lambert and Daryl Campbell, vice president for academic affairs, spoke to two pieces of the ongoing budget discussions: the legislative uncertainties and Shoreline’s own decision-making process.

“We’re planning for a cut of about $3 million for our college,” Lambert said. “We’re hoping it will be less, but over the past several years, our projections have turned out to be pretty close.”

Lambert said it is clear the Legislature will have to produce an all-cuts budget and that they will likely send some kind of tax package to the voters. “It is uncertain what the voters will say,” Lambert said. “We can’t count on that.”

The next key piece of budget information, Lambert said, will come on Feb. 16 when the state is scheduled to release a revenue forecast. Lambert said much will depend on that forecast.

Campbell spoke about Shoreline’s process for deciding on a budget and from where in the college reductions could come.

“The Strategic Planning and Budget Committee members have submitted a draft of recommendations for the process and how we would communicate,” Campbell said. The Senior Executive Team, he said, will review the recommendations and report back to the committee and the campus.

Campbell also showed a draft timeline recommended by the committee.

“This is based on last year’s timeline,” Campbell said. “You’ll notice some question marks, but while we’re still reviewing this, I think the administration feels we can come pretty close to this timeline.”

Also on the agenda was Humanities Dean Norma Goldstein speaking about the ongoing accreditation effort, eLearning Director Ann-Garnsey-Harter giving an update on the virtual-college project and related efforts and Lambert again to speak to the international education initiative.

“We just received notice a few days ago that our accreditation has been re-affirmed,” Goldstein said. However, she reminded, the new accreditation process is a rolling calendar of continuous deadlines. The reaffirmation was part of getting Standard 1 finished this past summer.  Standard 2, she said, is virtually completed and Standard 3 only needing a final review before submitting to the Northwest Commission   on Colleges and Universities.

Standards 4 and 5 are still to come, Goldstein said. She outlined a work schedule that includes deadlines in April, May-June, August and October. Goldstein also announced upcoming work sessions open to the entire campus and set for:

·         Friday, Feb. 17, 11 a.m.-noon

·         Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2:30-3:30 p.m.

·         Tuesday, March 13, 11 a.m.-noon

Garnsey-Harter said a key piece of the virtual-college initiative recently fell into place with a contract signing with Campus CE. The company will provide an online admissions and registration capability available, she said. While the service will be used by all students, it is particularly helpful to online students who may otherwise never come to campus.

The Virtual College Implementation Team has established two sub-groups, one for student services and another for instructional programs, Garnsey-Harter said. The instructional group is planning to launch pilot programs this coming fall.

Besides the Campus CE contract, the student services group is moving ahead with implementing mandatory G-Mail accounts for all students. The group also worked on launching the mobile apps and a mobile Web site for the college. The apps, she said, have been downloaded nearly 1,500 times in just few weeks and by users in 21 countries from China to Trinidad and Tobago.

In speaking about international education, Lambert said it is important to remember the goal is to increase global competencies for all students, domestic and international. “A third of all jobs in Washington are tied to international trade,” Lambert said. “By helping students become globally aware, we help them and the economy.”

Lambert made note of the work being done by the Campus Internationalization Leadership Team led by Bob Francis, Dean of Social Sciences. Lambert also noted recent enrollment statistics for international students that show increased numbers for winter quarter.

SCC/Jim Hills