Steering Committee Meeting Held for Nashville Education Center Campaign

Kaskaskia College held a Steering Committee meeting for the Nashville Education Center campaign on Tuesday, December 17.  The Committee is tasked with administering the campaign for the new Nashville Education Center to be built on Highway 127 north of Nashville.


The Committee, co-chaired by Brian Heckert, founder and wealth manager for Financial Solutions Midwest, LLC, and Sheila Burcham, CEO of the Community Trust Bank, is made up of several teams comprised of community volunteers and KC personnel. Each team is focused on specific groups to educate the public about the project and to solicit gifts as an investment in the future and to make the new center a reality.


Currently, the Nashville Education Center occupies 3,500 square feet of leased space at 450 North Kaskaskia in Nashville.  The new Center will be built on a three acre site north of Nashville along Highway 127.  The land for the new Center has been approved for purchase by the KC Board of Trustees, as has the design of the 12,000 square foot building.


The fundraising campaign has a goal of raising $1,285,000 through private donations, which combined with the KC Board of Trustees allocation of $1,770,000, will pay for the project’s estimated cost of $3,055,000 without a tax rate increase. This project is part of the College’s capital building campaign, which, along with new construction in Nashville, consists of an expanded Education Center in Trenton, a new nursing building on the main campus near Centralia, renovation and expansion of the Crisp Technology Center, and some minor renovation of the former Animal Disease Lab for use by the College’s Ag program.  Each of these projects is expected to be completed with no tax rate increase.


In the meeting, it was reported that the teams were forming plans for contacting their targeted groups and brainstorming ideas for future fundraising events.  Nancy Kinsey, Vice-president of Operations for KC, reported that due to the generous pledges and donation from area citizens and institutions, more than $422,000 has already been raised, leaving a fundraising balance of $863,000 remaining.


Dr. Jim Underwood, President of Kaskaskia College, praised the team chairs and members present, underscoring that by forming the Steering Committee as its fundraising arm, the College is saving at least two hundred thousand dollars that would have been charged by a professional fundraising firm.


“Forming the Committee, made up of citizens and KC personnel, has a number of benefits,” Dr. Underwood said.  “One is that every dollar donated for the project will go directly into the building fund with no overhead expenses. Another, and this cannot be emphasized enough, is that people are willing to give toward causes they believe in and to people who they know and trust.  By having the citizens of Washington County involved in the fundraising, it helps to ensure that gifts are benefitting the local area both educationally and economically.”


Dr. Underwood went on to say that over the last ten years, college enrollments have increased up to 80% over previous years, an increase that he attributes in part to the convenience and affordability of having education centers in place in area communities.  “Roughly half of our enrollments are now at our education centers,” he said.  “This proves that the College’s philosophy of taking education to the people at the times and places convenient for the learners and the communities is working.  This continuing expansion of the numbers of people served is clear evidence why a larger education center in Nashville is much needed to meet the current educational demand and to allow for increased programs in the future.”


For more information on the Nashville Education center campaign please visit, or contact Campaign Chair Suzanne Christ at 618-545-3069 or by email at​

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