Citing the firm's flexibility and use of alternative building methods, the Navajo County Community College District Governing Board selected the firm of SGS + Partners of Phoenix to develop a master plan and Phase One designs for a new Painted Desert Campus in Holbrook on the old Air Force Base site on E. Navajo Blvd. during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday, Sept. 26, in Winslow.
SGS + Partners was one of four architectural firms responding to a formal request for proposals to serve as the college district's architects. Three of the firms made presentations to a review committee consisting of Board Chairman Bill Jeffers of Holbrook, College President Gary Passer and NPC Facilities Director David Huish. That committee unanimously recommended SGS + Partners, based on the firm's record of efficient use of floor space, flexibility, and use of alternative building methods, such as pre-engineered structures,
Herb Schneider, representing the architectural firm, reviewed some of the past projects his firm had done for NPC, and other facilities designed for area schools and NALI. SGS + Partners designed the SkyDome, the South Student Union and Communications Buildings, among others, at NAU, and the Dome at Round Valley High School in Eagar and Washington School in Winslow. They are currently working on facilities in Window Rock, Kayenta, Pinon and Tuba City in northern Arizona, and state-wide.
SGS + Partners expressed a willingness to design new buildings to use salvaged doors, fixtures, hardware and mechanical systems from the failed Learning Center on the old Painted Desert Campus, to help reduce construction costs. The full-service architectural firm also designed the auditoriums for Blue Ridge and Show Low high schools. "We do a lot of acoustical consulting for other firms," Schneider noted.
"Another strength for SGS + Partners was the way they work on-site with the contractor to insure compliance with the design specifications," added Chairman Jeffers. Such on-site reviews were additional charges for the other two firms.
In other action, the Governing Board authorized College staff to continue negotiations with long distance service provider Global Crossing, After careful scrutiny between rates from MCI and Global Crossing, Brian McLane, NPC's Dean for Information Services, recommended staying with the current vendor, but at lower rates. The new contract could save the College in the neighbor of 11 per cent on its telecommunications costs.
An intergovernmental agreement with the Northern Arizona Vocational Institute of Technology (NAVIT) was approved by the Board. Different from academic concurrent enrollment agreements with area high schools, NPC and NAVIT provide career training as nationally-certified welders, state-certified cosmetologists and nursing assistants. "The NPC NAVIT welding program is one of the first of its kind in the country to achieve national certification requirements, commented Judith Doerr, NPC's Vice President for Instructional Services. "There are 29 students in that program. Of the 46 students enrolled in cosmetology, 35 are from NAVIT attending part time. It will take them two years to complete a program adults finish in 10 months. There are also 19 NAVIT students in the Nursing Assistant program," she continued. "In the spring, Heating-Ventilation and Air Conditioning (H-VAC) training will be added, plus NPC is exploring a fire science program in Apache County as part of NAVIT and maybe an agricultural path as well."
Board Member Ivan Sidney expressed his appreciation to the residents of Navajo County for providing the excellent new facility for the Hopi Center near Polacca. Dedicated just prior to the start of classes, the Hopi Center was built with capital improvement funds approved by county voters in May, 1995.
Board Member Bob Seymour reported on the successful BBQ dinner and auction, Aug. 26, for the NPC Rodeo Boosters that raised over $8,000, and the 2nd annual P intercollegiate rodeo on Sept. 9.
Janet Hunter, chair of the Administrative Information Services (AIS), outlined some of the exciting new Internet-based courses being offered in her division during the faculty report. She expressed appreciation for training provided through the Wisconsin Instructional Development System (WIDS) to help instructors improve courses guides making it easier for students to understand the goals of various courses.
Margaret White, representing the Classified and Administrative Staff Organization (CASO), reported nearly 20 members participated in the previous weekend's Heart Walk in Pinetop, raising approximately $300 for the Heart Association. She also extended invitations to the All-College Picnic on Sept. 30 in Snowflake, and encouraged continued purchases of candy bars to fund scholarships for NPC students.
New Athletic Director and Head Men's Basketball Coach Todd Dahlof reported on his recruiting efforts and outlook for the coming season. With only two returners from last season, Dahlof plans to institute a new system that will be aggressive on both ends of the court. "We will be quick and I encourage taking the first best shot, so hopefully we'll be scoring a lot of points," said the first-year coach. "We're not big, but we have good depth through the 15-man squad." Six of the players are from Arizona, three are from New Mexico, two from New Jersey, two from Texas, and one each from Illinois and Rhode Island. Official practices began in late September for the pre-season opener, the Cellular One of North East Arizona Classic, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 3-4 at the new gym at Show Low High School. "Getting gym space is one of my biggest challenges," Dahlof said.
The Board honored Nyana Leonard, a specialized child care case worker with the Navajo Division of Social Services Office in Leupp, as the President's Alumnus of the Month. Leonard cited a developmental reading class she completed at NPC as the reason she has been able to succeed in her goal of obtaining a master's degree in social work. Leonard is a persuasive advocate for the community college experience. "When I am talking to high school students, I encourage them to attend a community college. It is way too competitive at the universities. I have found that most university faculty don't take the time to get to know their students. At NPC the classes are smaller and there is a concern for the student's success," Leonard said.