There will be no summer quarter classes this year at the Enumclaw campus of , as the campus will be closed beginning June 16 through August 15 in an effort to cut costs.
President Eileen Ely, in an campus-wide email Wednesday, indicated that the campus closure was one of a number of steps the college is taking in order to work through anticipated budget cuts for the coming fiscal year.
According to college spokesman John Ramsey, "We are preparing as a college to make some $3.5 million in cuts -- this [Enumclaw campus closure] is a portion of that. Ultimately, we're waiting to hear from the Legislature the final numbers we're going to get from them -- we don't have an exact number at this point. ... We're going to need to make some sizable reductions and we're already at work on it."
Without the Enumclaw campus in operation this summer, the college is expecting a savings of anywhere from $17,000 to $18,000. The savings are based on staff salaries for two-and-a-half employees as well as some maintenance costs for operating the building in the summer, Ramsey said.
Four faculty members who collectively teach 15 sections of credit classes (math, english, business, and adult basic education) in the summer are also affected but the budgeted savings aren't coming from the faculty salaries, he said. Faculty, who are either adjuncts or are full time, have the option to look into teaching on the main campus in Auburn or the Kent campus, he said.
Similarly, 16 instructors who've taught 30 non-credit classes will also have to look to move their classes to a different campus.
In general, the classes the college offers in the summer are less than what is offered in winter and spring. Last summer, 84 students enrolled in various credit classes and 119 students enrolled in non-credit extension courses, Ramsey said.
At least four extension courses that take place off campus will continue, he said, including classes on baking, babysitting, destination flyfishing and bike maintenance. More information about those course offerings will be available on the college website.
If students have questions or need services that they typically get at the Enumclaw campus, the same services will be available at the main campus in Auburn, Ramsey said.
Concerns about what this might mean for the Enumclaw campus in the long run are unfounded, he said. "It is one time in our minds right now. We're planning no further closures. Doing it for the summer this year is really a trial as well, so it's going to help us save money this year. We'll reevaluate at the end of the summer and see if it even makes sense to do it again next year."
Meanwhile it remains unclear if the building will be completely shut down during the summer or if staff might take advantage of the opportunity to do some needed repair and maintenance work while no classes are in session, Ramsey said.
Other changes that GRCC students will experience center largely around how information is distributed to the community, according to Ely's email. They include:
- The end of mailing printed quarterly class schedules to service district residents. About 10,000 schedules will still be produced each quarter for campus distribution though further printing reductions will continue. The schedules will also be available online.
- The end of printing and distribution of college catalogs to students -- it will remain online. A small number of catalogs will still be printed for campus use.
Earlier this year, the Green River Community College Small Business Assistance Center (SBAC), which also had an office at the local campus, due to lack of funding.