Trustees approve funds for maintenance needs

The Garden City Community College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to permit the institution to move forward with securing over $3 million in financing for several deferred maintenance projects and other pressing safety and security needs at the board’s regular meeting Tuesday.

Board members agreed that the dozen or so projects, including an estimated $1 million metal building to house and safeguard GCCC’s fleet of buses, require timely action.

GCCC President Dr. Ryan Ruda told board members that the institution would be retiring another prior debt obligation by May of this year.

The completion of those payments will result in a cost-savings to the college’s general fund of about $480,000 annually, Ruda said.

The proposed $3.1 million in debt obligation will result in a net savings of around $230,000 per year.

Ruda said the opportunity to address maintenance and safety needs while simultaneously reducing the college’s debt service overall would help propel the college forward in the years to come.

“This financing will provide a savings to the general fund while addressing items that have been included in the college strategic plan and master facilities planning,” Ruda said. “This encompasses our focus on continuous improvement and sustainable infrastructure, a pillar of our strategic plan.”

Other projects in the $3.1 million project list include, but are not limited to the following:

Replacement and upgrade of two cooling towers and a chiller used to provide air conditioning throughout all main campus buildings for an estimated $900,000.

Installation of new campus light poles and additional security cameras for improved surveillance and safety for an estimated $90,000.

Upgrade and renovation of the main underground tunnel cap system which serves as a mechanical pathway for HVAC, electrical, irrigation and communication lines for an estimated $260,000.

The board also voted unanimously during the meeting to explore a refinancing option on a $2.7 million debt obligation on the Broncbuster Suites.

The refinancing could result in a cost savings between $50,000 and $75,000, depending on future interest rates.

Ruda said the timeframe for debt payment by the end of 2026 would not change with the refinancing option.