Several classroom technology and building upgrades are coming to the Westmoreland County Community College (WCCC).

The WCCC board of trustees at its meeting Wednesday approved purchasing FrontRow devices for $11,794 from Carnegie-based ITS Corp., as the college has begun updating classroom technology at the Youngwood campus.

The upgrades include new televisions for presenting course material, new teacher workstations and enhanced in-room audio.

“The purchase of the FrontRow device will enhance the audio quality of the room and supply instructors with a number of easy to use touch buttons for media control,” said Greg Rose, vice president of administrative services.

Upgraded classrooms are being designed to mimic the new classrooms that were part of the renovation project, college officials said.

The FrontRow upgrades were funded by a grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation.

The board also approved electrical work and an air supply line to convert a classroom at the college’s Advanced Technology Center into a “more usable” space. The college will pay Westmoreland Electric $15,600 for electrical work and Tude Mechanical $4,895 for an air supply line.

For students furthering training in building management systems, the board approved the purchase of six Direct Digital Control (DDC) trainers for the Advanced Technology Center in the amount of $60,275 from Tarentum-based Allegheny Educational Systems.

The DDC trainers will help students identify the skills necessary for HVAC and DDC contractors and employers for entry level technicians, college officials said.

At the Student Achievement Center, the board approved upgrades to the art room, including installation of a new drop ceiling and fresh paint.

“The room is very outdated and is needing an update to continue with the project,” Rose said.

The board approved contracts with Hudson for $8,881 for the ceiling replacement and C&J Painting of Derry for $3,190 to paint walls, door frames, doors and mechanical equipment.

The board also approved for Johnstown-based CJL Engineering to develop a bid package in the amount of $19,500 for the renovation of an office area in the Health and Culinary Center to become a virtual reality classroom.

Also on Wednesday, the board approved financing the college's $1.84 million paving project at the Youngwood campus through a non-revolving term note at 2.65% interest with a 10-year maturity through First Commonwealth Bank.

This note is secured with revenue of the college. The Pennsylvania Department of Education will reimburse the college at a 50% rate as part of its capital allocation.

The project aims to seal or overlay all asphalt paved areas of the campus. Officials previously said the parking lots and roadways are in “terrible condition.”

In other business, the board approved a lease agreement with KTig Welding to move into 1,184 square feet of space at the Advanced Technology Center. The lease begins June 1 and continues until May 31, 2022. KTIg Welding will pay $9,472 per year for the lease.

“I want to thank the board for allowing us to continue to rent space out at the (Advanced Technology Center) to companies,” said WCCC President Dr. Tuesday Stanley. “This will be our third company that is housed at the ATC. Our other two collaborations have been incredibly successful, not only for the companies, but for our students and the various partnerships that we are able to enter into. I have no doubt that this one will be equally successful. … It will be nice they are moving into Westmoreland County.”

Tronix3D, an industrial 3D printing service, and Xcelicut, a prototyping and production machining service, also lease space from the college at the Advanced Technology Center.

Stanley also provided details on the college's May 7 commencement. 

Graduates will be honored with a "grad walk" at the Student Achievement Center on the Youngwood campus beginning at 1 p.m. Graduates will have their photo taken when they receive their diploma.

"With the continued mitigation efforts in place, we were not able to hold a large event," she said. "We are going to have a grad walk, and line our faculty, staff and board members up to clap for students and two guests."

The Commencement Video Ceremony will be available for viewing at 6 p.m. May 7, with a link to the video ceremony on college's website posted on day of the event.

Also at the meeting, the board approved:

  • Purchasing 175 laptops and 250 desktops from Dell Inc. for a total of $370,098;
  • Revising the college’s capitalization guidelines threshold for the capitalization of fabricated or moveable equipment to $3,000 and buildings, building improvements, computer software and intangible assets to $5,000;
  • Contract with Elliot, LeBoeuf and McElwain for $21,000 for inspection and preliminary design work for the burn building at the college’s Public Safety Training Center;
  • Time extension request to Aug. 31 for a contract with Maroadi Transfer that expired Nov. 30, 2020, to move equipment to the Student Achievement Center in the amount of $100,000;
  • Revising the grading system, public speech and employee discipline policies;
  • Request of a one-year extension with Maher Duessel for fiscal year 2021 single audit;
  • A settlement agreement involving a contractor on the Student Activity Center project.

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