Sandburg Board Approves Updated Campus Master Plan

GALESBURG — The Carl Sandburg College Board of Trustees on Thursday approved an updated Campus Master Plan to serve as a roadmap for improvements and developments on Sandburg’s grounds in the coming years.

The plan, presented by the College’s architect and engineering firm, Farnsworth Group, is intended to ensure the best utilization of funds available to Sandburg, including Illinois capital improvement bills, protection/health and safety resources and contributions from the Carl Sandburg College Foundation.

The updated plan lists and prioritizes projects that range from taking place within the next five years to others addressed 10-plus years from now. Long-term goals identified in the plan were the improvement of student life on campus; a focus on agricultural and technical careers; an emphasis on health and science careers to meet current demand and equivalent growth; strengthening the campus’ connection to the outdoors; attention to performing arts; and expanded and improved athletic facilities.

The plan includes the recommended construction of a new health and science facility to replace the three pods that make up Building A, which was built in 1969 as part of the original campus. The new building would serve as a flagship, modern facility that would house programs that are in-demand and attract significant enrollment. The last new construction at Sandburg was the addition of Building H, which houses the College’s mortuary science program, in 2006.

“The Campus Master Plan provides the College some direction for the immediate future and also allows us to envision the ways in which Sandburg can continue to grow to support our district,” Sandburg President Dr. Seamus Reilly said. “As Carl Sandburg said, ‘Nothing happens unless first a dream,’ and this plan allows for some immediate response to the critical workforce and economic development needs of our district but also allows us the opportunity to reimagine the campus to prepare for future generations.”

The Board also approved the acceptance of a $4,000 grant from the Community Foundation Serving West-Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri to develop the Resource Room at the Branch Campus in Carthage into a food pantry that will serve Sandburg students as well as Hancock County residents.

The Sandburg Foundation and Branch Campus staff will partner with Shepherd’s Pantry in Carthage and River Bend Food Bank in the renovation. Funds from the grant will be used to purchase a refrigerator, freezer and other supplies that will allow the pantry to provide fresh produce, meat, nonperishable items and hygiene products. The Resource Room on Sandburg’s Main Campus in Galesburg underwent a similar transformation prior to the 2019-20 academic year, thanks to a donation from Mike and Mary Panther.

The Board also approved an installment contract with Wells Fargo Equipment and Finance, Inc. to lease two 2019 Ford 15-passenger shuttle buses for 60 months from Carpenter Bus Sales at a cost of $1,888 per month.

New faculty and staff representatives to the Board were sworn in for the 2021-22 academic year. Information and communication technology instructor Dr. Suvineetha Herath will serve as the faculty representative. Amanda Allen, extension instructional and technology services specialist, will serve as the staff representative.

In other business, the Board approved the following:

  • Employment of Christopher Williams as director of TRIO Upward Bound Project, effective Sept. 1

  • Employment of Michael Hall as building maintenance staff, effective Sept. 1.

  • Employment of Ariel Byerly as TRIO Upward Bound Project advisor, effective Sept. 1.

  • Resignation/retirement of Kathleen Smith as human resources generalist, effective Aug. 31.

  • Appointment of Kris Gray from dean of health professions to full-time associate degree nursing instructor, effective Jan. 1.

  • Appointment of Amanda Allen from extension instructional and technology services specialist to coordinator of instructional technology and support services, effective Sept. 1.

The Board’s next scheduled meeting is 7 p.m. Sept. 23.

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