BCCC looking to allow non-residents as students

The Barnwell County Career Center board took steps Aug. 20 to allow non-resident students entry into their programs.
Currently, non-residents are not allowed into the school, but "it became necessary to look at the options," said BCCC Director Sam McKay. He referenced a Jefferson Davis Academy student who recently sought admission to take courses at the BCCC, but could not because he is not a resident of Barnwell County.
"We're trying to adjust (our policies) to where out-of-county residents can attend," said McKay.
To accomplish this, the board unanimously approved the first reading of three policy changes.
The first clarifies the requirements for resident students in policy JFAA by clearly stating they have to be a Barnwell County resident.
They also approved new policy JFAB which outlines the criteria for non-resident students. Non-resident students must be at least 16 years old by the time they complete the program, be a 10th through 12th grader, complete a registration form and submit appropriate grades and records.
This policy is "not likely to apply very often," but allows an opportunity if there is space available in classes, said McKay. He said priority is always given to resident students, especially those from the three public high schools who help fund the BCCC.
There are some JDA students enrolled in classes at the BCCC, but they are Barnwell County residents.
In the event a non-resident student is allowed into the BCCC, the board also passed policy DFG which establishes tuition. "It brings money with the students (because) it's not free to teach them," said McKay.
Non-resident students taking one session per day at the BCCC would pay 25 percent of the base student cost the state gives schools per student each year, while those taking two sessions would pay 50 percent, according to the policy. This year the state funds $2,012 per student, though that fluctuates every year.
Resident students do not pay tuition because the county's three public high schools and Barnwell County property taxes fund their tuition.
Board member Tommy Boyleston motioned to approve the policies, which was seconded by Calvin Melton. It was unanimously approved, though Steve McCormack was not in attendance.
A second reading of the policy changes will need to be approved before the changes can be made final.
In other news:
-Russell Scott, co-owner of Augusta Chiller Service, presented his proposal to replace the school's air-cooled chiller which cools the main building's classrooms.
The school is looking to replace the chiller because it is getting costly to repair. McKay said they recently had a valve go out on it that costs $7,000 to replace.
"It's reached it's life expectancy," said Scott. "Don't spend more money on that machine."
He proposed a new 90-ton Carrier chiller which could save the school up to 25 percent in cooling costs, especially on cooler days. "You'll see some significant savings," he said.
Scott said the manufacturer gives his company a discount for paying for the chiller within 15 days, a savings he likes to pass along to his customers. "I think it's the right thing to do," said Scott of the discount, which could be up to 10 percent.
The board will hear a third and final proposal from Total Comfort during their Sept. 17 meeting.
-The board accepted the resignation of Lavenia Staley, one of the school's two custodians, effective the end of September.
"We wish her well," said McKay of Staley who is retiring after 19 years with the school.
The BCCC hopes to have a replacement in soon so Staley can help train them before her retirement.