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COA E-Chowan campus deficit grew last year

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College of The Albemarle President Robert Wynegar speaks at an event honoring COA alumni who work at Sentara Albemarle Medical Center, in the hospital education center, Monday.

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By Reggie Ponder
Staff writer

Thursday, August 2, 2018

EDENTON — The operating deficit at College of The Albemarle’s Edenton-Chowan campus appears to have grown by more than $9,500 during the 2017-18 budget year, according to unaudited preliminary figures.

The campus started 2017-2018 with a negative balance of $2,871, and by the close of the budget year on June 30 that deficit had grown to $12,390, according to a draft budget update presented to COA trustees’ finance committee last month.

Trustee Joe Winslow, a member of the Pasquotank Board of Commissioners, noted that the Edenton-Chowan campus has been running a deficit as long as he has been on the board.

The Edenton-Chowan campus was the only one of the college’s four campuses to run a deficit last budget year. The Regional Aviation and Technical Training Center in Currituck finished the year with a $30,400 balance; the main campus in Elizabeth City showed a $39,670 balance; and the Dare Campus finished with a balance of $163,000.

Rental income for the Workforce Development office, which occupies space on the Edenton-Chowan campus, is expected to help lower the campus’s deficit.

In addition, college officials are monitoring utilities closely and COA President Robert Wynegar said the college may request additional funding from Chowan County for utilities.

Wynegar said the college moved to a smaller footprint on the Edenton-Chowan campus this past year and there were a lot of costs associated with the move. COA staff will continue to watch the campus’ situation closely in the new budget year, he said.

The Edenton-Chowan campus includes three full-time faculty, two full-time staff members and four part-time staffers. 

In addition to classes that are open to the public, the campus also hosts specialized training for staff with the N.C. Division of Prisons.

As of Monday, the biology class on campus had a full slate of 24 students.  An English class also was full and a history class was close to the limit of 24 students.

Only five students, however, were enrolled for the upcoming semester in heating, ventilation and air conditioning, which can accommodate up to 14 students. Culinary also can accommodate up to 14 students but only seven had registered as of Monday.

The finance committee also heard an update on the state budget at the July 24 meeting.

Of its $15.2 million state funding for fiscal year 2017-18, COA had slightly more than $270,000 remaining. The college expects to be able to carry over about $269,000 of it, which will require official action by the State Board of Community Colleges. About $199,000 of that projected carryover is for equipment.

Wynegar said that should help cover the cost of equipment for the new library on COA’s main campus in Elizabeth City.

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