Budget shortfalls force Aims to close buildingsSubmitted on: 03-11-2010
Aims Community College announced several measures in response to an anticipated $2.2-million reduction in the college budget for Fiscal Year 2010-2011. The budget reduction comes from an expected decrease in state funding as well as a projected decrease in local tax revenues for next year. At its March meeting, the Aims Board of Trustees approved a 9-percent increase in tuition for 2010-2011 and the administration plans to increase several student fees, which combined will generate approximately $800,000 annually. "The state-mandated cap of a 9-percent tuition increase will most likely be implemented by every public college in the state," said Aims President Marsi Liddell. "This $5.40-increase per credit still allows Aims to offer the most affordable tuition for in-district students." The college also enforced a 10-percent decrease in operating expenses, which is expected to save between $600,000 to $700,000. "As we looked at additional ways to balance the budget, one of the key deciding factors was to minimize the impact on our student population," Liddell said. "By eliminating our lease obligations, we believe we can still meet the needs of our students and save enough money without having to close academic programs. These very difficult decisions were designed to have the least impact on students and to ensure that Aims continues with its mission to help students meet their goals." The buildings Aims currently leases that will be closed are: • The Aims Downtown Center will close in August. Classes will be moved to the main campus after the summer semester. • The Annex at the Loveland campus will close at the end of June and those classes will be rescheduled in the main building in Loveland. • The Aims Flight Center at the Greeley Airport will close at the end of August. Flight Training will be contracted through a third-party provider, which is similar to how the college's Helicopter program currently operates. In addition, the Monfort Early Childhood Education Center will close in early August at the end of the summer semester. Parents using the childcare center are being notified immediately so they can make other arrangements. The Early Childhood Education Program will continue on the main campus. For both the Flight Center and the Monfort Early Childhood Education Center, Aims will seek outside entities to run the two facilities as enterprises that could work in conjunction with the Aims programs. "With the tuition increase approved by the Board of Trustees, the fee increases planned, the 10-percent operating reduction and the dissolution of these lease obligations, we believe we will be able to absorb the projected shortfall from the state and local property taxes for this coming year," Liddell said.
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