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LEL K E L L O G G C O M M U N I T Y C OK L LE EG O G G C O M M U N I T Y C O L March L E2014 GE uin Battleground Skate Park finally opens Mat Dilliner Staff Writer Battleground Skate Park, located in Battle Creek had their long -waited grand opening on December 16, after nearly a decade of hard work and dedication trying to make the park a reality. The not-for-profit youth outreach facility, which is open to skateboarders, BMXers, in-line skaters, and scooters is located at 923 East Michigan Avenue in the former Freedom Motors building. It is open to the general public in three separate three-hour sessions, Tuesday-Saturday, from 3:30-9:45 and only costs $5 per session. It has been a long journey for this modest park to finally open. They have had to endure many set-backs along the way, but volunteers and members of the board, such as Don Jackson, a local youth pastor and motivational speaker for over twenty years, says that these trials have only made their group and cause stronger. The park originally occupied a space near the Capital Ave, I-94 exit on Knapp Drive. They poured tens of thousands of dollars into that location by building ramps, upgrading electricity, plumbing, and heating, and paying for the countless requests by the city inspectors for building code improvements. They eventually had to pack up and moveout only days before their originally scheduled grand opening. They have worked very hard at finding a new location for the park over the past eight months. The park came to fruition through the vision and passion of local youth counselor, Andrew Wichterman, who works for Summit Pointe, dealing with troubled youth. Though Wichterman played basketball in college, photo by Goongatron Bruin reporter Mat Dilliner drops in on the mini-ramp. he never participated in extreme sports like skateboarding. He originally began dreaming up the idea for the indoor park about ten years ago. Through sacrifice and persistence, he and his group were able to secure donations from churches, private individuals, and local businesses to help pay for the start-up and day-to-day operating costs of the skate park. The park is certainly a welcome change compared to the conditions that the skaters of the area have to endure at the location designated to them right now by the City of Battle Creek, underneath the Washington St. Bridge. There are shattered bottles, broken ramps, cracked pavement, vulgar graffiti, used needles, litter, and much more. It is a very dangerous place to be after dark and it is certainly not a place for a minor. “Part of the thinking is that it is a positive place for them to come and do this,” Jackson said. “There’s some oversight, yet still a lot of freedom for them to be who they want to be without a lot of harping on them for continued on page 3 Expenses and tuition rise as student enrollment falls Four-year forecast Johnathan Hogan Staff Writer Dr. Dennis Bona, the President of Kellogg Community College, recently presented to the school’s staff and faculty the financial details of the past few years as well as the school’s plans for the years ahead. The 2013-14 school year saw KCC’s expenses surpass revenue as the number of students who enrolled for classes declined. “We didn’t know we’d lose so much enrollment this year,” Dr. Bona said. With the rise in unemployment after the 2008 Financial Crisis, many of the newly unemployed returned to school to help find new jobs. KCC saw a rise in student registration and made a profit of close to $2,000,000 during the 2009-2010 school year. As the economy has improved the students from that initial surge have moved on. “We’re all proud of that,” Dr. Bona said. “It’s great for the community and students. The same has not proven true for revenue.” The profit for 2012-13 was a mere $35,000. For the 2013-14 school year KCC expects to lose $370,000. Kellogg Community College receives revenue primarily from three sources: property taxes, state funding, and student tuition. When the housing bubble burst during the 2008 Financial Crisis house prices in Michigan dropped, and the revenue from property taxes with them. Know your Bruin... Pg 3 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 Revenue 36,790,000 36,990,000 37,000,000 37,430,000 Expense 36,765,000 37,460,000 39,080,000 40,140,000 Year End 35,000 (470,000) (2,080,000) (2,710,000) 5,042,000 4,572,000 2,492,000 (218,000) Fund Balance 2015-16 The above graph shows a growing trend of expenses surpassing revenue. The second graph shows how changes in spending and tuition will reduce the deficit. These numbers are rounded approximations, not exact figures. Four-year forecast (new) 2012-13 2013-14 2015-16 2014-15 Revenue 36,790,000 37,090,000 38,640,000 39,560,000 Expense 36,765,000 37,460,000 39,080,000 40,140,000 Year End 35,000 (370,000) (440,000) (580,000) 5,042,000 4,672,000 2,232,000 3,652,000 Fund Balance “In five years, we’ve decreased substantially in terms of the money we received from property taxes,” Bona said. State revenue has been on the rise since the financial crisis, but is still below what it had been back in 1999. The school has been left to rely on student tuition to pay the rest of the expenses required to educate students. Although the decline in student enrollment has correlated with a decrease in the rise of revenue, the same is Community garden coming soon... Pg 4 Mission of mercy... Pg 6 not true for expenses. Professors receive the same salary regardless of whether they teach ten students or twenty. Cleaning, maintenance, and other costs also have little to no correlation with the number of students attending classes. “There aren’t many expenses that are related to the number of students,” Dr. Bona said. Steps to saving money... Pg 11 continued on page 3 March madness begins... Pg 15

March 2014

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