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Release date:October 27, 2006

Wayland board approves additional borrowing for facilities, emeritus status for alumni director, firm for centennial campaign and study

PLAINVIEW – The Board of Trustees at Wayland Baptist University approved the borrowing of additional funds to complete two facilities and conferred emeritus status on a longtime employee at their regular fall meeting held Oct. 26.

              After hearing a report from audit manager Bob Womack of the Davis, Kinard and Co. firm about the university’s exceptional audit report and strong financial status, trustees discussed the need to borrow an additional $1.5 million toward the completion of the new facility in Lubbock and the Pete and Nelda Laney Student Activities Center on the Plainview campus.

              The additional funding will cover cost increases in steel and building materials for the Laney Center, a $5 million facility that will include a double gymnasium, walking track, weight room and cardiovascular equipment room for use by students. The rise in steel and material costs – in addition to equipment and furnishings to complete a full snack bar and student lounge area – has left a $565,358 deficit in the funding available for the facility.

              The deficit of $947,913 for the Lubbock campus was above the original estimates for furnishings and remodeling work for the former Charter Plains Hospital property purchased last fall. Some of that figure comes from additional furnishings, grounds irrigation, phones and lighting that were not originally anticipated. The facility will house the Lubbock campus as early as January 2007 and the current property at West Loop 289 and 19th Street will be partially leased out, with some space retained for Wayland classes.

              In preparation for the university’s centennial celebration slated for August 2008 to August 2009, the board approved a recommendation to hire Cargill Associates in Fort Worth to conduct a feasibility study with selected donors and lead the university in a centennial capital campaign to be launched in summer 2007.

              In other business, the board approved a recommendation from the Property Management Committee to investigate the leasing of surface rights on university estate properties for commercial wind generators as an additional revenue stream. The university currently has farm leases in several counties and the wind generators would not interfere with those farm operations.

              Trustees also approved a revised strategic plan and a slight rewording in the university mission statement. The new statement reads “Wayland Baptist University exists to educate students in an academically challenging, learning focused and distinctively Christian environment for professional success, lifelong learning and service to God and humankind.” The phrase “learning focused” was added. The strategic plan is meant to guide university decisions in the coming years in all areas of operation.

              The board also approved revising the university’s retirement plan for employees to allow personal loans subject to IRS guidelines, and the election of three individuals to the board to replace outgoing members. Those individuals are Yvonne Franklin of Amarillo, a previous board member; Dr. Claude Cone, a current board member from Albuquerque; and Randy Sharp of Amarillo, new to the board.