Capital funds projects not affected by budget cuts

  Whitworth’s capital projects division, which oversees the construction of new buildings, met a $75,000 cut in the form of the elimination of an open position within the department. However, all a planned construction is still on schedule. This follows the announcement of a proposed draft of budget cuts President Beck Taylor made earlier this month.

The $75,000 cut did not result in anyone losing their job, Taylor said. The budget cuts scheduled for the upcoming fall semester will not affect the progress of any capital projects on campus.

“It’s just a removal of the staff, not funding for capital projects,” Campaign Director in Institutional Advancement Tad Wisenor said.

The position cut from faculty payroll was the manager of capital projects. Steve Thompson held that position before he accepted a job in San Jose, Calif., in December. The position was left unfilled following his departure, and subsequently cut from the faculty payroll.

“I was impressed with Steve while he was here,” said Gerry Gemmill, vice president of finance and administration.

Thompson left in the beginning stages of a new project. The current music building will be receiving renovations and additions and is still in the planning process, Gemmill said. Any expansion will be attached to the current music building.

“They’re just getting done with the schematic stage and what we’ll end up with after that process is a really good idea about what we want to build,” Gemmill said.

Fundraising and donations will pay for the renovations and additions to the music building.

“It’s our institutional commitment to have new buildings built by fundraising,” Wisenor said.

The additions to the music building will depend on how much money the school can raise within the next few years. Efforts to fundraise for the project have been aggressive, Gemmill said.

The project will begin once the fundraising goal has been met. A deadline has not been set for fundraising.

“Something I’ve learned since I’ve been here about fundraising is that you can have money trickling in over a long period of time, or if you have highly-motivated donors, a lot of money can be coming in and it just varies,” Gemmill said.

Other projects, such as building renovations, depend on donors as well.

“Our needs far exceed our resources. That is why planning is so important,” Gemmill said.

The replacement of steam and electrical lines on the west side of campus is the department’s current project. The project will begin after graduation on May 21 and should be completed by the end of July, Gemmill said.

The project is funded by a bond and not fundraising or donations.


Shelby Harding Staff Writer