Completion of health/sci center means smaller college budget for FY14May 24, 2013 By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer
The Central Wyoming College Board of Trustees have passed a preliminary budget for fiscal year 2014, which begins in July.
The $41.8 million budget is about $15 million smaller than last year's, officials said, with the change mostly due to the impending completion of the Health/Science Center on the Riverton campus.
"That $15 million is standing up right in front of the college," said Ron Granger, CWC's vice president for administrative services. "Everything is going well up there."
He said the school's capital construction budget topped $22 million last year, but now that the center is almost finished, he said that line item is down to about $8 million total.
The progress affected the school's "investment in plant" budget in a similar way, Granger continued. Last year, CWC
invested about $23.3 million in its physical plant, compared to an anticipated $8 million this coming year.
"That doesn't mean we don't have it," Granger said. "That means we already spent it this year."
Granger anticipates needing almost $20 million in the school's operational budget for the coming fiscal year. He said that money goes primarily toward student services.
"Fifty or 60 percent should always be in the operational side," Granger said. "Everything is geared toward students."
He pointed out that last year's operational fund was slightly larger.
"This year we've decreased that by $390,000 (or) almost 2 percent," Granger said. "This is the first decrease we've had in quite a while. Most of the time it's gone up, but this year we found ways to reduce it."
CWC president Jo Anne McFarland asked board members to note the "substantial sum" that comes in to the college via grants and outside contracts. Last year CWC received $3.9 million from those sources compared to $4.4 million anticipated this year.
"Proportionally that is much higher than what you will generally find at the other colleges in the state," McFarland said. "And many of those grants are competitive."
Granger said CWC's grants and contracts line item represents about 10 percent of the school's budget.
"That's a big part," he said, comparing CWC to other colleges statewide. "The closest one to us, 7 percent of their total budget is grants. Ours has been 10 (percent) or higher for a long time."
CWC board chairman Charlie Krebs asked why CWC receives more outside grants and contracts than other schools.
"Are we just more aggressive than the other colleges?" he asked.
McFarland replied enthusiastically that, "Yes, we are." She added that many of the grants come from federal sources.
"Any federal cuts will impact us in a negative way," McFarland said.
The board will consider final adoption of CWC's fiscal year 2014 budget on July 17.