The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Board approves $16 million purchase to expand NW aviation program

By Kenney Kost/editor-in-chief

TCC reached an agreement with Bell Helicopter to purchase its military programs facility at Fort Worth’s Alliance Airport for $16 million.

The board of trustees approved the purchase of the 161,200-square-foot military programs facility, allowing TCC to expand its current aircraft maintenance programs offered through NW Campus. The space will also allow for several new programs to be offered, including composite, logistics, welding and transportation technologies as well as a pilot training program.

“Our agreement to purchase the military programs facility from Bell Helicopter means that we can expand our program and, more importantly, we can be sure our students are receiving the advanced training they need to hit the ground running,” Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley said.

Currently, about 2,500 students are enrolled in TCC’s aviation programs with an estimated growth of 15 percent per year once the new programs are introduced. TCC plans to be in the facility in June 2014, according to TCC officials.

Once the deal is finalized, Bell Helicopter representatives said the company plans to lease the building back from TCC through March 2014 while awaiting completion of its global headquarters building.

The board also approved a deal with a company called Edfinancial Services to outsource all financial aid calls and verifications to provide faster verification processing and free staff at campus financial aid offices to better assist students, said vice chancellor of administration Angela Robinson.

Currently, the district handles about 60,000 phone calls and 15,000 verifications annually. Each financial aid office employs five full-time members, except South Campus, which employs six, and a district verification staff of six, said associate vice chancellor Kim Beatty. The cost of the project totals $438,388 annually at a breakdown of $7.50 per verification and $4.95 per call.

Secretary O.K. Carter expressed his concerns over what he thought was a redundant cost.

“That’s quite a chunk of change,” Carter said. “I hope you are happy with it, and I hope you are reviewing to make sure you are getting value out of it.”

Hadley assured everyone that the outsourcing will not cause any of the current financial aid employees across the district to lose employment.

The board also approved the purchase of Ellucian software for academic planning and retention alerts, the purchase of Edmonton Plato Courseware site licenses and several maintenance and renovation packages including plans to turn SE Campus’ food service area into a culinary arts kitchen.

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