TEMPERANCE -- Monroe County Community College's Whitman Center is to be closed in June and July next year to cut costs.
The college's board of trustees voted for the action when it adopted a $27 million 2012-13 operating budget last week. It put the center's two full-time employees on 10-month contracts and cut a part-time administrative assistant's hours in half, Sandy Kosmyna, the center's director, said.
Trustee Mary Kay Thayer, who joined the unanimous vote, wanted the board to reconsider the issue at its next meeting Sept. 24.
Closing the center temporarily would be a hardship for students in the county's southern section, she said. Many work in Toledo and would have to drive to the main campus in Monroe. "This was not a line-item budget we adopted," Mrs. Thayer said. "Keeping the Whitman Center open would mean moving funds around."
Closing the center two months would save $20,000 to $25,000 each month, college spokesman Joe Verkennes said. He cited a decline in spring and summer enrollments. In 2009-10, 133 students took classes in the spring, 162 in summer. The numbers for 2010-11 were 119 and 124, respectively; for 2011-12, they were 81 and 53.
Ms. Kosmyna said one factor has been changes in Pell Grants. "There have been changes in federal financial aid that limited the number of people who could attend classes in the spring and summer. This was partly responsible. Also, biology wasn't offered at the Whitman Center this spring, and that course has always been a popular draw in the past."
Registrations and placement testing have occurred at the Whitman Center in June and July, Ms. Kosmyna said, voicing concern that a two-month shut-down would worsen enrollment.