IVCC agrees to 4 more years at Ottawa campus

Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce will move into Ottawa Center

Illinois Valley Community College's Ottawa Center, 321 W. Main Street

Illinois Valley Community College made a long-term commitment to its revitalized Ottawa Center campus Thursday.

The board approved a four-year lease with the city of Ottawa to continue offering credit classes including CNA and EMS, Adult Education classes such as ESL and HSE (GED), and noncredit continuing education classes, such as massage therapy.

Coordinator Jeannette Phalen said Ottawa Center enrollment is up 28% this fall “and spring should be up even more. I am proud of the improvements we’ve made in our course delivery.”

The center, located at 321 W. Main St. since 2010, also has driven enrollment by hosting numerous registration events.

In a related action, trustees approved a lease with Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce to have the chamber move into Ottawa Center. The 4.5-year lease begins Jan. 1. Chamber offices will face Main Street in the northwest corner of the center.

In other action, the board gave final approval to a $14.3 million 2022 tax levy, a 6.4% increase over last year’s $13.5 million extension. The levy is based on a 7.5% increase in the district’s EAV due largely to an agreement with Constellation’s La Salle Power Station. Over five years, it will result in nearly $1.2 million in new revenue for IVCC.

With the levy increasing more than 5%, a public hearing was conducted prior to final approval. Taxpayers in La Salle, Bureau and Putnam counties – as well as smaller parts of Marshall, Lee, Livingston, Grundy and DeKalb counties – should not see an increase in their IVCC taxes.

The board also approved:

  • Seeking bids for a CNC-controlled hydraulic press brake and robotic welder for the welding, fabrication and manufacturing programs for an estimated $124,000.
  • A five-month digital marketing campaign with Interact Communications for $49,999. The campaign will provide media placement and analytics including pay-per-click search engine marketing, digital display advertising and initiatives utilizing Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Spotify.
  • The resignation of electronics instructor Charles Raimondi effective Dec. 17.
  • Reimbursement of $75 in expenses to trustee Jane Goetz for attending ICCTA meetings Nov. 11 and 12.
  • Closed session minutes from Nov. 10.

The board learned:

  • The IVCC Foundation’s Annual Appeal had raised more than $31,000 from 98 donors as of Wednesday. “Special thanks to the trustees who have contributed so generously,” Corcoran said. 
  • IVCC hosted a reception for retired English instructor Ed Krolak Tuesday. Krolak donated 30 copies of his book “Lilies of the Valley” to guests attending the event.
  • Instructors Dawn Chambers and Rick Pretzsch presented a program Nov. 14 on their team trip to Estonia and Finland this spring. The trip was funded through a grant with Indiana University and awarded by the Midwest Institute for International/Intercultural Education.
  • The theatre department’s fall musical “Mame” attracted 800 guests over an 8-show run between Nov. 10 and 20.
  • IVCC received a $108,650 ICCB Innovative Bridge and Transitions Grant to fund a student support center for underrepresented populations and basic needs for at-risk students. The grant will continue the successful “Get Set” program.
  • A pilot remote work arrangement with highly-skilled Information Technology staff.
  • Tenure recommendations have been made for cybersecurity instructor Nancy McDonnell and Medical Assisting program coordinator Kaity Ritter. McDonnell and Ritter will be recognized along with other newly tenured faculty at the February meeting.
  • Kelsey Forkner has been hired as Student Services information specialist.