The Parkland College Blog

Free CarFit Checks for Older Area Drivers this Thursday

Assessment is free to area drivers 65 and older

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Parkland College encourages older area residents to come out to Parkland on Mattis Thursday morning for a free CarFit® check, and find out how well they work together with their vehicles.

The check will take place Oct. 4. from 9 a.m. to noon at the Parkland on Mattis facility at 1309 N. Mattis Avenue in Champaign.

Designed to keep the district's seniors driving safely for as long as possible, a CarFit check takes only minutes and is available to all licensed drivers age 65 and older who own a registered vehicle. A trained professional will ask simple questions and complete a 12-point CarFit checklist. Recent surveys showed that 88 percent of CarFit participants reported changing at least one driving behavior or vehicle adaptation as a result of their assessment.

Please call the Parkland Business Training and Community Education at 217/351-2235 for this free appointment.

Dental Hygiene Clinic Seeks New Patients for Exams, Cleanings

Clinic services free for children under 12, age 65+, aid recipients; $10 for others

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The Parkland College Dental Hygiene Clinic is currently seeking to serve area residents who have not had dental cleanings in five years or more.

Patients may come in for various dental services, such as oral examination, X-rays, cleaning, fluoride treatment, sealants, and oral hygiene instruction. Appointments last approximately 3.5 hours, as the Dental Hygiene program students are learning and are working with their instructors. The cleaning may take one to four appointments, depending on the patient's individual needs. 

Established in 1968 and fully credited by the American Dental Association since 1970, Parkland College's Dental Hygiene program is recognized as one of the top programs in Illinois. Graduates from this program must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and a state or regional clinical examination before applying for licensure as a registered dental hygienist (RDH). 

Clinic services are free for adults over 65 years, Medicaid/Public Aid recipients, and children under 12. For all other patients, the cost of dental service is $10 per semester, no matter how many appointments are required.
 
For more information about the clinic's services or to schedule an appointment, call the Parkland College Dental Hygiene Clinic at 217/351-2221.

Parkland College Among Top 20 in Nation for Precision Ag

PrecisionAg.com places Parkland at No. 2 among nation's community colleges

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Parkland College's Precision Agriculture program has been named No. 2 among the nation's community colleges by PrecisionAg.com.

Earlier in the year, PrecisionAg.com released its Top 25 Colleges in the U.S. for Precision Agriculture, which comprised four-year institutions; it released its Top 20 Two-Year Colleges list in early September, with Parkland's program ranking second on the list.

Parkland College offers the most comprehensive Precision Agriculture associate’s degree in the state of Illinois. Students learn precision ag technologies, such as precision hardware and software systems, through industry-backed curriculum. With a 20-year history of precision agriculture education, Parkland College has built a strong regional reputation with employer partners eager to hire Parkland graduates. 

About PrecisionAg:
PrecisionAg is a diversified, independent media enterprise serving the global community of precision agriculture through the media outlets of PrecisionAg.com, PrecisionAg Professional UpdatePrecisionAg Institute, and PrecisionAg Professional Magazine.

Student Union Named a LEED Silver Building; Celebration Oct. 8

Student services facility earns high marks for energy efficiency, community connectivity

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Parkland College's Student Union has been certified as a green structure by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, and the college invites the public to celebrate the designation at a special event Oct. 8. 

The LEED Silver Celebration will take place in the Student Union atrium at 2 p.m. and will feature remarks from President Tom Ramage, architect Michael Dolter of Perkins + Will and Vice President for Student Services Michael Trame. This event highlight the college's sustainability efforts, the features that contributed to LEED certification, and the ways the Student Union has transformed the student experience since opening its doors in 2014. Dolter will lead audience on an architectural tour of the building. Light refreshments will be provided. 

Devised by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), the LEED certification rating system focuses primarily on new, commercial-building projects. LEED uses a point system to evaluate and report the environmental performance of a building, rating it in terms of energy and water efficiency, air quality, and building materials. LEED standards are now globally synonymous with sustainable design.

The Student Union received the certification in early June, earning its highest marks for water efficient landscaping, stormwater control, public transportation access, and community connectivity. The 113,000-square-foot, $28 million facility was designed to house Parkland College student services offices, the Parkland College Bookstore, spaces for student organizations and lounging, a cafeteria, and a large-group meeting space.

Parkland’s other LEED Silver-certified building on campus is its Parkhill Applied Technology Center. The college identified sustainability and environmental responsibility as a college-wide priority in 2007 with its Sustainable Campus Initiative (SCI). President Ramage signed American College and University President’s Climate Commitment in 2009, with the main goal to reduce carbon emissions.

Trustees Approve Budget, Hire New AD, Refinance Bond Debt

Greater tax savings after successful Series 2018 refunding bond sale

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The Parkland College Board of Trustees approved its FY 2019 budget and hired a new athletic director Wednesday, as well as announced a successful refinancing of its bond debt at a greater savings to taxpayers than originally estimated.
 
The board adopted the fiscal year 2019 budget, which includes a $333,191 operating surplus. Chief Financial Officer Chris Randles first presented the tentative budget in July, and the budget was on display for public review and input starting Aug. 1.

Parkland College officials also named Brendan McHale as the school's next director of athletics, overseeing its eight Cobras sports teams. 

A Parkland College Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2009 inductee, McHale brings two decades of administrative experience at Carle Foundation Hospital Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Champaign. He was Parkland College's head athletic trainer from 1992 to 2006 before moving to Carle. McHale replaces Rod Lovett, who retired this past summer after serving as AD since 2000. 
 
The board also voted to appoint Erin Shannon, a Champaign native, as the college's new director of marketing and public relations effective Oct. 4. Shannon has most recently served as the marketing manager for the City of Bloomington, Ill. parks, recreation, and cultural arts department. 

Also during the meeting, the board moved to expend the remaining bond funds and interest it still controls after having successfully refinanced its 2009–2010 series bond debt last month. The bond refinancing reduces the district’s tax burden by a greater margin than projected.
 
Working with PMA Securities, Parkland College sold approximately $53 million of outstanding bond debt in the US municipal market from Aug. 14 to Aug. 29 with the sale of its Series 2018A, B and C refunding bonds. District 505 taxpayers should see a savings of $6.2 million over the decade on debt payments.
 
The college will use $300,000 of the remaining 2008-2009 series bond funds to replace aging flight simulators, with another $1 million to develop the Midwest Center for Precision Agriculture. The funds will also help create a high-fidelity simulation lab, with four new simulation bays and a simulated ambulance, for the Parkland College Health Professions programs.
 
The trustees also considered the findings of a campus-wide committee and a recommendation from the president regarding a program-specific reduction in force, with no action taken. 

In other business, trustees approved the following:

  • Protection, Health and Safety (PHS) projects in the FY2019 capital plan, including:
    • Campus Walkway/Parking Lot Improvement-South B Wing, $1.4 million
    • Exterior Repairs/Improvements, $500,000
    • Campus Energy Savings Improvements, $200,000
  • a five-year contract for waste hauling services with Area Disposal Services of Peoria, Ill., beginning January 1, 2019. The contract, a result of collaboration between the college’s Sustainable Campus Committee and Physical Plant, aims to reduce the amount of waste refuse going to the landfill and increase the amount of materials acceptable for recycling. Parkland expects the move to save the college about $30,000 per year, reducing/recycling costs by about 54 percent.
  • an increase in some of the daily fees at the Child Development Center (CDC), effective Oct. 1, to ensure sustainability of the center. The proposed tier increases are comparable to other childcare center rates in Champaign-Urbana.
  • proposal by Conference Technologies, Inc., of East Peoria, Ill., to replace the sound system in the Harold and Jean Miner Theatre, at $161,981.
  • proposal of Environmental Control Solutions, Inc., of Springfield, Ill., to install a Building Automation Control system in several of the larger campus wings and the chiller plant, at $134,072.67.
  • disposal of four Glock pistols as surplus property of the Public Safety department, which no longer needs them.
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