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Enrollment increases at college

PARK HILLS — The on-campus housing is at capacity, class rosters are quickly filling up and all indications are enrollment will have a 15 to 20 percent increase for the start of the fall semester Monday morning. It’s a busy time on the Mineral Area College campus.

The MAC Board of Trustees met Thursday for their regular monthly session. There was much talk about the activity all across the campus as hundreds of freshmen, some with parents or guardians, filled the halls and concourse areas participating in new student orientation.

All indications are it will be an exceptionally busy year. The board was brought up to speed on the acclimation of several new staff and faculty members — many added due to increasing enrollment. It was said there is an unofficial, often-discussed goal of 5,000 (students) enrolled in a single semester, and if this fall semester is any indication that goal could be reality in the near future.

It was reported that the new seating in the fieldhouse is nearly complete. A few final details will be checked off the list and a final payment can be issued to the contractor. The new bleachers and mezzanine seating complete a list of improvements made during the 2009 fiscal year, which also included improvements to the performing arts theater and the skylights in the main concourse area.

Going into the fall semester the board approved several purchase orders for technology enhancements, especially equipment to assist with information security and wireless access.

And the fall and spring semesters — more specifically Fiscal Year 2010 — promise to be another busy time for upgrades across the entire campus. Board members approved $458,000 in projects for the next 12 months — with the cost to be split 50-50 with the state of Missouri.

Approved projects for the next year include: Replacement of upper bleachers in the field house, roof repairs in the technology building, replacement of the west doors of the library, remodeling of the library restrooms, new signs on buildings surrounding the quadrangle, replacement of the asphalt main entrance to the campus with a concrete surface, replacement of a portion of the concourse carpet, replacement of the south boundary fence, the addition of trees at College Park, and additional lighting at the Fredericktown campus.

President Dr. Steven Kurtz reported that it is a relatively slow time in Jefferson City. A monthly update by the president on pending legislation is a regular part of the board’s monthly agenda.

Kurtz also helped Board President Dr. Jim Bullis deliver the “Mike Dealy Spirit Award” to Roy Henson on behalf of the St. Francois County Relay For Life. Henson, who works in the college’s career center, was noted as a great inspiration to all students, and a great asset during the recent Relay For Life event held on the MAC campus.

Kurtz announced that Farmington City Administrator Greg Beavers will be the guest speaker at the Fourth Friday luncheon Aug. 28. The administrator will be talking about the Tour of Missouri cycling race which will pass through Farmington on Sept. 9.

The board of trustees should meet next on Sept. 10 at 2 p.m.

Doug Smith is a reporter for the Daily Journal. You can reach him at 573-756-8927, or at

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