College takes over operation of fitness center
At their May 30 meeting, Feather River College trustees approved a new Memorandum of Understanding and lease agreement with the FRC Foundation that will allow the college to take over operation of the Feather River Fitness and Recreation facility at 336 Crescent St. in Quincy.
According to college president Dr. Ron Taylor, the foundation could no longer afford to support the center. On the other hand, FRC can utilize its own administration and maintenance crews in support of the facility, resources that the foundation doesn’t have.
Ron Groh, representing the foundation, said the foundation wanted to play a support role. "We're excited really. This was the best alternative. FRC can provide resources the foundation couldn't."
Taylor answered concerns that, with the college taking over the operation, student courses might be emphasized over community classes. “We don’t expect diminishment,” said Taylor. “Services (for the community) may actually grow. We are going to develop an action plan as soon as this (agreement) is signed. We don’t see the center operating as curriculum for students.”
He went on to explain that the college is looking to expand its community education services. The state won’t support these as college courses by paying apportionment. Instead, courses will be fee-based. “We will expand service to the degree desired by the community,” Taylor said.
The new facility lease agreement between the foundation and the college for the fitness center defines the term of the agreement as running from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2017, with a monthly payment of $4,500.
The MOU outlines the history of the facility, which began in 2001 with the foundation having “primary responsibility for operation of the facility in consultation with the district.”
At that time, the foundation was to assist “the district in the provision of instructional programs, courses and activities.”
The earlier agreement was intended to run through June 2016.
According to the MOU, however, the new agreement became necessary because “reduced state funding impacted the financial viability of the operational arrangement.”
The new agreement not only gives the college district, rather than the foundation, control of the facility, it also shows a change of emphasis from college courses to community ones.
The focus shifts from courses that allow the college to pull state funding based on FTE (full-time equivalent, a complex formula whereby the college gets state funding based on full-time student enrollment count) to community classes, which will rely on course fees.
As of May 25, the college was already advertising for positions at the fitness center.