Iowa Lakes talks legislative priorities at trustees' meeting
The members of the Board of Trustees of Iowa Lakes Community College were updated Tuesday afternoon on construction projects on each campus and then learned about priorities for the upcoming legislative session.
M.J. Dolan, the Executive Director of the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees (IACCT) first introduced Rich Gaumer, the Board Chair of IACCT. Gaumer discussed several items with an emphasis on advocating for community colleges in the state. He shared success stories from this past year and offered ideas for cultivating relationships with legislators as well as enhancing communication with them.
Also speaking at the meeting was Jeff Smith, lobbyist for Iowa’s Community Colleges. Smith stressed the importance of community colleges in job training and he promoted the value of community colleges. He is part of a team that is now building the framework for key talking points to be used in the upcoming session of the Iowa Legislature.
Next up was Dave Palmer. Palmer is celebrating his 50th year working with community colleges. His first year was at Iowa Lakes in Estherville where he taught history and was an officer of the faculty association.
He fondly remembered the ‘early days’ of Iowa Lakes.
“I met many outstanding individuals and I retained contacts with some of them over the years,” Palmer said.
He also was the advisor for student government and, on a lighter note, shared how much he enjoyed playing golf at the local country club.
Most recently, Palmer’s role has been as a lobbyist promoting the importance of Community Colleges.
Former State Sen. Jack Kibbie was in attendance since he had worked with Palmer in promoting community colleges over the years.
Kibbie was asked to address the Trustees. He shared his continued passion for the community college system in Iowa and said the skilled workforce training provided by the colleges was educating the most people in the state of Iowa.
Delaine Hiney, Executive Director of Facilities Management, offered updates on projects at all campuses.
At the Emmetsburg campus, a change order was approved for upgrades to the parking lot. In addition, the terrazzo floor in the Dining Services area is nearing completion and the Nursing Simulation Lab is ready for equipment to be installed on schedule.
In Spencer, the Trustees approved a change order to the roof project. Hiney reports the roofing timeline is on track.
The Performing Arts Center at Estherville is temporarily on hold as the construction company is waiting on notification about when block layers will arrive.
The storm sewer has been installed at the Algona campus and workers are carefully covering the completed work since there are other utilities located in that area.
Renovations at the Spirit Lake campus include work on the floor which has been ground and polished along with the relocation of the CNA Lab which will be ready for classes that start after Labor Day.
Work at the College Farm Lab Beef Facility is ongoing as half of the north wall is up and about a third of the trusses are in place.
Turning to Community and Business Relations, Executive Director Jolene Rogers talked about a $7,500 donation from Avangrid Renewables which will be used as a scholarship for a Wind Energy and Turbine Technology student. The donation was accepted.
In other business, Bob Leifeld, Vice President of Administration, presented a list of summer graduates which was approved by the Trustees.
Also during the meeting, the Trustees gave oral reports on college and statewide committees.
College classes start Tuesday, Aug. 22. The Trustees were updated on ‘Move-In Day’ (Sunday) and ‘First Day’ activities set for Monday, Aug. 21.
The next meeting of the Trustees is slated for Sept. 19.
Dave Palmer began his career in community colleges at the Estherville campus of Iowa Lakes
Former State Sen. Jack Kibbie has been an advocate for community colleges for more than 50 years
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