Regents approve renovations

Sam Hartle

The Washburn regents met last Friday to begin a new year of meetings and passed a number of measures aimed at making Washburn more competitive on both an academic and administrative level.

A move that will most affect students, the Board approved a $249,200 contract to Senne & Company Inc. for the renovation of six rooms in Morgan Hall and nine rooms in the Henderson Learning Resources Center (see sidebar for rooms included in the renovations). Of the total cost, $43,200 is budgeted for Morgan, with the remaining $206,000 going toward Henderson.

Washburn President Jerry B. Farley said that the renovations will consist of the replacement of ceiling tiles, grids, carpeting and floor tile and are aimed at “improving the appearance and functionality of the classrooms.”

The Regents also approved the $1.5 million renovation project of the property at 1729 SW MacVicar for the future use by the Washburn Endowment Association. Board of Regents Chair Nancy Paul noted that such a renovation project can sometimes go awry and expressed the desire for the University to closely monitor the project.

The Board approved a new financial services provider, Springsted Financial, to Washburn University for the next five years.

Topeka Mayor Bill Bunten was the sole opposing vote to hiring Springsted, noting that the company is based in St. Paul, Minn. and not in Topeka.

“I’ll be voting no, but I want the record to indicate why I’m voting as such,” said Bunten.

The firm operates nationally, with a focus on providing financial services to organizations in the public sector.

Other actions taken on Friday:

– The board received an update on the University’s amendment to bylaws allowing any full-time faculty position to be split into two half-time positions. The Board was not required to vote in this matter.

– Approved a $51,800 contract to Senne & Company Inc. for the replacement of door hardware in Morgan Hall and installation of new, Americans with Disabilities Act compliant hardware.

– Regents approved three expenditures above $25,000, including the purchase of a patient simulator for the School of Applied Studies ($45,195), the renewal of Mabee Library’s periodical services ($248,150.86) and the purchase of chairs for selected School of Business classrooms ($32,131.74).