COA trustees eye new use for former home


The canal-front home owned by College of The Albemarle, located behind the Elizabeth City main campus, is shown Wednesday. COA trustees do not plan to sell the home, once occupied by then-COA President Kandi Deitemeyer, but instead are looking for ways for the college to use it.


By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Thursday, August 24, 2017

What should College of The Albemarle do with its canal-front home now that it’s no longer being used as a residence for COA’s president? 

That’s the question members of a COA trustees committee charged with finding a best use for the structure are asking fellow trustees.

Up until the end of last year, the 1,480-square-foot house, located on a canal at the back of COA’s main campus, was occupied by then-COA President Kandi Deitemeyer and her family. Deitemeyer, who was COA president from 2010 until she became president of Central Piedmont Community College in December, lived in the house as part of her contractual compensation package.

But when the COA Board of Trustees announced in March that Robert Wynegar had been selected as the college’s 10th president, the board stated that Wynegar’s contract would not include use of the residence.

College officials said this week that the house was not designed to be the permanent residence for COA’s president.

The Building and Grounds Committee of the college’s board of trustees has been discussing how to put the structure to use for the good of the college.

The committee reported to the full board of trustees at its meeting last week that there are no plans to sell the house. Committee members said they are open to any ideas about how best to use the building.

Marion Harris, who as board vice chairman was presiding in the absence of Chairman Paul O’Neal, emphasized that something needs to be done so that the building, which is currently not being used, remains in use. Other trustees agreed with that assessment.

College spokeswoman Lisa Johnson said this week that COA officials are not certain when the college acquired the house. But officials believe the house was included in a gift from Gerald Bray, a former president of the college who had owned and lived in the house. Johnson said the gift also included a mobile home park that Bray owned.

In an unrelated matter at last week’s meeting, Wynegar updated trustees on some of the areas he’s been focusing on since taking over the reins at COA in May. Wynegar said he’s focused on growing student enrollment, with a particular emphasis on increasing the number of adult students.

In addition, Wynegar said he’s challenging college staff to look closely at enrollment data. He wants to determine whether the college is offering the right programs and has the right staffing levels in every area of operations.

Trustee Coleen Santa Ana, who is president of Sentara Albemarle Medical Center, said she would like the data analysis to include close tracking not only of graduation rates for every program but also job placement rates. She said it’s important to be able to provide prospective students information about the job placement rate for different programs.

Wynegar agreed that job placement data was important and would be included in his emphasis on data analysis.