Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College is entering the second phase of its work upgrading its Health Sciences Building.

President Dr. Walt Tobin told Area Commission members that the work will improve the building for students and the college.

“I think it’s important for us to put the time in the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, but in addition to that, look at the … opportunity for study rooms and for students to meet, socialize academically,” Tobin said,

He said the work will be “beneficial to the students, but I think it’s also beneficial, long term, to the college.”

The Area Commission approved proceeding with phase 2 of the Building K renovations with an estimated cost not exceeding $4.2 million during a Nov. 9 meeting.

The money will come from $2 million the college had already set aside in its capital projects fund, along with half of $4 million the college is receiving from the state for deferred maintenance.

OCtech Vice President of Financial Affairs Kim Huff said, “We’d still have money left over to do some of the other projects, and it would leave what I would consider to be a sufficient amount in our capital projects plant fund for contingency and for other things.”

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Phase 2 of the Building K renovation project includes mechanical and electrical upgrades, including HVAC replacements, to the Health Sciences Building. Repurposed space will also create the opportunity for amenities such as study rooms.

Building K was built in 1987.

Academic affairs

Williette Berry, OCtech’s vice president of academic affairs, reported on three vacancies, including an EMT instructor and program coordinator.

“Interviews are in progress. … We’re (also) currently interviewing for that last nursing instructor. Then we also have a temporary grant position for a project manager for SC-PRIDE,” Berry said.

SC-Pride is a grant OCtech received in partnership with Williamsburg and Denmark technical colleges.

Berry also reported that the college’s Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Technologies division completed its Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology virtual site visit, which was held Nov. 7-9.

Student services

OCtech Vice President for Student Services Dr. Sandra Davis reported that the week of Nov. 8-12 was the final week of the college’s student vaccination incentive program.

“Over the last four weeks, we’ve been doing weekly drawings and three prizes each week to include an iPad, an Apple Watch and also AirPods. Those gifts have been very much appreciated by the students who have won those prizes,” Davis said.

She also said the college is currently advertising for an assistant director of enrollment.

Huff delivered an October finance report. The college reported revenue of $12.4 million at the end of October, with expenses standing at $6.7 million.

“You do see our tuition numbers climb somewhat. They’re up about a million dollars over our last month’s report. That’s because of students registering for the spring semester,” Huff said.

He reported the college’s continuing education division continues to improve financially.

“Right now, they’re showing actually a profit of around $50,000 when you look at our current statement. We budget for them to break even, with the hopes that they do better than that,” Huff said.

“At any point and time throughout the year, there are lots of things that are pending, but just to see them at this point in the positive, that is a really good sign,” he said.

While the college budgeted $70,000 for indirect costs, which it receives from grants, Huff said, “We’ve already recorded $143,000 of revenue from those grants and indirect costs.”

He said anticipated revenue from Orangeburg and Calhoun counties had fallen short by $528,289, a shortage which he has said is made up by the college’s tuition and fee revenue.

Huff also gave the commissioners a report on the college’s capital projects fund, with only $23,000 having been spent from that in the first four months of the year.

“All of that is related to the Building K renovation project, Phase I, (and) what we’ve paid our architect so far to date for this,” he said.

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5534. Follow “Good News with Gleaton” on Twitter at @DionneTandD

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