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Catawba College Plans New and Improved Residence Halls and Academic Center

March 1, 2006

Category: Academics, Students

New and improved residence halls, a refurbished academic center, and a renovated student center are in Catawba College's immediate future. At their annual meeting February 21, college trustees authorized administrators to proceed with an ambitious plan for making capital improvements on campus.

Wachovia Bank has agreed to finance $15 million in bonds to launch the projects and college officials will immediately seek to supplement those bonds by raising another $6 million for capital improvements. The Knoxville, Tennessee-based higher education consulting firm of Lawler-Wood is working with the college to finalize plans for the construction.

In addition to plans for a new residence hall, discussion is underway concerning upgrades and refurbishing some of Catawba's nine existing residence hall. Plans may also require the demolition of at least one of the existing residence halls or conversion of a residence hall for a new and alternative use.

"More of today's students are looking for private rooms, suites or apartment style living on campus," explained Catawba College President Dr. Robert Knott. "As an institution, we are committed to our heritage as a residential college, and embarking on these projects will help us affirm that commitment and help us remain competitive in today's marketplace.

"We are doing our due diligence now. Working in conjunction with Lawler-Wood, we are carefully exploring the options available to us. We want to make the most of this opportunity and of our investment," he continued. "Also among our priorities is our commitment to upgrade our existing library facility and turn it into a genuinely inviting academic center with an information commons where students can gather, work and study using today's technology to access resources that are available electronically. The library as we have traditionally known it is expanding to reach the students and faculty throughout the campus."

Once plans are finalized, college officials hope to begin construction and renovations in late summer.

Trustees Set Tuition for 2006-2007 Academic Year
Trustees authorized a five percent increase in tuition, room and board paid by students enrolled in the college's day program. Catawba's tuition for the 2006-2007 academic year will increase to $26,260 from the $25,000 overall cost in place during the 2005-2006 academic year. Dr. Knott called the increase reasonable and in line with those proposed at Catawba's sister institutions. Last year, Catawba ranked eleventh in the state for tuition charged by independent colleges and universities and Knott said he anticipates that ranking to remain relatively stable in 2006-2007.  

Auditor Selected
Trustees approved the hiring of a new auditing firm and authorized a three-year contract between the college and the firm. Cherry, Bekaert & Holland, which provides annual audits for other clients in higher education, was selected after proposals from three firms were reviewed.

New Trustees Welcomed and Officers Elected
Three new trustees were welcomed to the board. They include Abby Kerr '72 of Charlotte, employed by Wall Street Capital; David "Gene" Fuller '52 of Charlotte, owner of Dave Fuller & Associations; and Mike Bauk '79 of Salisbury, of Piedmont Cheerwine Bottling Company.

Officers of the Board were re-elected for a two-year term (2006-2008). They include Tom E. Smith, chairman; Paul E. Fisher, vice chairman; Mary H. Messinger, treasurer; Shirley P. Ritchie, secretary; Charles F. Williams, assistant treasurer; and Linda G. Hamilton, assistant secretary.

Trustees in the class of 2010 were re-elected, including Daniel T. Bross '71 of Issaquah, Wash., Larry T. Cloninger Jr. '74 of Salisbury, Paul E. Fisher of Salisbury, Dolan Hubbard '71 of Baltimore, Md., James F. Hurley of Salisbury, Mary H. Messinger of Salisbury, C.A. "Junie" Michael III of Mooresville, Richard J. Seiwell '67 of West Chester, Pa., Tom E. Smith '64 of Salisbury and Mona Lisa Wallace of Salisbury. Both John Donald Scarlett '48 of Winston-Salem and Billy Joe Leonard '50 of Lexington were members of this class but decided not to stand for re-election. Instead, their peers on the Board voted unanimously to grant them emeritus status.

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