Nashville Education Center Steering Committee Meets

The Steering Committee for the Kaskaskia College Nashville Education Center campaign met in regular monthly session on Wednesday, June 11th.  The Steering 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, each targeting 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.


Dr. James Underwood, President of Kaskaskia College, spoke of the savings the College expects to incur by moving forward with plans to begin construction on the new Center, to be built on a three acre plot along Highway 127 north of Nashville.  “With the last three projects that have gone to bid, we have saved over $700,000 in construction costs,” Dr. Underwood said.  “That is why we felt it is important to move up the bidding process for Nashville, to realize additional savings in the current market.”  The plan to move the project forward was approved by the KC Board of Trustees at its May meeting.


Nancy Kinsey, Vice-president of Operations and CFO for KC, reported that of the $3,055,000 total projected cost of the project, $2,296,000 has been raised to date, including the $1,770,000 in bond funds allocated by the Kaskaskia College Board, leaving a balance of $759,000 to be raised in private funds.  


At the meeting, VP Kinsey shared an analysis of the KC tax rates showing that this project will not raise the tax rates for operations or capital.  The College has a tax cap on its education and operations rate, she said.


The Nashville Education Center has simply outgrown its space.  It currently occupies 3,500 feet of leased space at 450 North Kaskaskia in Nashville.  The new building will have 12,000 square feet of instructional and community space, including a public-use computer room, four expandable classrooms that can host large gatherings, and three business incubators for helping small businesses establish themselves along with instructional laboratories and classroom spaces.


Janet Garretson, Dean of Nursing for KC, spoke of the Allied Health Room, which will be a combination laboratory and classroom for the Certified Nursing Assistant and Emergency Medical Technician programs the new Center will contain.


Ideas for future fundraising events were discussed, including a 5K/10K race that will coincide with the Okawville Wheat festival in Washington County, a Cosmic Bingo Night, and an additional Mouse Race event.  Details of these and other events will be worked out in the near future.


For more information on the Nashville Education Center campaign, including naming rights and ways to make donations, please contact campaign director Suzanne Christ at 618-545-3069 or by email at  Information can also be found at​ 

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