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WSCC trustees get update on sculpture plaza

Updated: Jan 28, 2019

Posted by Ken Grabowski on January 21st, 2019

It is a very detailed process used to create the bronze replica involving using clay and porcelain molds before the bronze can be poured into to create the replica of the Dawson statute Daedayl. (Courtesy photo)

SCOTTVILLE — Over the course of the past decade the late artist Manierre Dawson has come to play an important role at West Shore Community College.

The college owns several pieces of his artwork and the art gallery on campus is named in his honor. When the college agreed to create a sculpture plaza on the north side of the Schoenherr Campus Center it was only fitting that that first piece of artwork to go into that area would be a piece of Dawson’s work.

WSCC executive director of college relations Thom Hawley updated the board of trustees at Monday’s meeting on the progress being made with creating a bronze reproduction of Dawson’s sculpture titled “Daedayl” that will be the first piece of artwork going into that plaza. The original sculpture is much smaller and made from wood which is why they are using the bronze replica.

“The original sculpture has been scaled up 240 percent and will the first large scale outdoor Dawson sculpture of its kind,” said Hawley. “This is the original sculpture we are reproducing resembling a standing figure as it consists of one continuous line that bends and curls throughout the length of the composition.”

Hawley explained that the title of the sculpture comes from the name Daedalus and Daedayl is a variation of Dawson’s own creation. In Greek mythology Daedalus was an Athenian architect, engineer and artist employed by Minos, the king of Crete.

“A ghost artist was required to make minute changes in order to maintain the visual integrity of the piece as it is viewed from a distance and up close,” said Hawley. “His name is Tyson Snow and has been involved with other sculptures in the area.”

The sculpture will be included in the Mason County Sculpture Trail when completed. A plaque is being developed by WSCC Professor Emeritus Sharon Bluhm to meet the sculpture trail specifications.

Another part of the project is personalize lazar engraved bricks will form the plaza surrounding the sculpture are ready to be ordered where the alumni and public can honor loved one, family member or favorite faculty member.

“Each brick sold will raise funds to support a scholarship endowment fund to be held by the college’s foundation,” said Hawley. “It will be a great way to show pride and ownership in West Shore and to have your name prominently displayed for generations, while supporting students for years to come.”

Monday’s meeting was also the organizational meeting and two trustees began new six-year terms on the board.

Randy Tomaszewski was sworn in to his first six-year term on the board after winning a seat in last November’s election. Joining Tomaszewski for a new six-year term is incumbent James Barker, who won re-election in November after serving on the board since 2015.

Another required action of the board at its organizational meeting was the election of officers for the upcoming year.

Board members voted 7-0 to retain Bruce Smith as chairman for another two-year term which is a position he has held since 2017.

“I want to thank the board policy and personnel committee who made the nominations and the entire board for your confidence in this vote,” said Smith. “I look forward to serving this board and of course the community and students we serve. It is a pleasure to do it for two more years.”

Elected to the vice-chair position for another term was Richard Wilson; he has held that position since 2017. Rounding out the officer positions are treasurer Jim Jensen and secretary Dr. Tony Fabaz.

Smith will also serve as the new WSCC Board of Trustees representative on the Michigan Community College Association. Smith will be filling the opening that was created when WSCC’s former representative Mike Ennis retired from the board.

Named as the alternate to the position was Fabaz, while WSCC president Scott Ward will have an automatic appointment to that board.

Board administrative chair Jensen also presented to the board a quarterly report on the college’s investments. No action is required by the board and the investments are reviewed by the administrative committee before coming to the full board.

Jensen noted that as the Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates in the country it is bringing in a better return to the college investments.

Over the course of the past several months the board policy and personnel committee has been reviewing and revising the board policies. Board members gave unanimous approval to the second reading of board policies 2018 Health Insurance Coverage for Deceased Employee’s dependents, 6055 Minors on Campus, 6056 Use of the College Name, Seal and Logo and 6084 Statement of Non-discrimination.

Jensen also reported on behalf of the board administrative committee the recommendation to approve the General Fund expenditures for the month in the amount of $1,033,018 and Auxiliary Fund Expenditures totally $79,332. Both were approved on 6-0 votes.

“The board administrative committee reviewed these very closely and many questions were asked and answered by the administrators,” said Jensen.

WSCC college president Scott Ward  and trustee Richard Wilson  presented to the board the first reading of board policy 6053 Smoke Free and Tobacco Free Campus.

“The college is one of two community colleges in the State of Michigan that currently allows smoking on the campus,” said Ward. “Also with Michigan becoming the 10th state to legalize recreational marijuana, it is imperative to adopt a policy for the campus so there is no confusion about its usage on the campus and related activities.”

Ward explained that this has been something the Student Senate has been working on for more than two years. Last February, the college received a grant through the Truth Initiative to educate the students about the dangers of smoking, smoking devices and tobacco use.

“Two student leaders, who are also members of the Student Senate have been instrumental in providing these educational events to our student body,” said Ward.

Board members agreed to the first reading of the policy, and if it is approved again in February it will become a policy. Implementation will take place on June 1 and will also include the Riemer Regional Public Safety Training Facility.

“People will not be able to smoke anywhere on campus under this policy, but they will be allowed to smoke in the privacy of their own vehicle while parked on campus,” said Wilson.

First reading was also granted for Board Policy 6057 for Campus Closure. Ward informed the board  in a memo that the policy deals with closing of the campus due to inclement weather.

“Due to issues of safety and high absence rates on days when a majority of the local school districts are closed to inclement weather, the administration and faculty suggest that West Community College take into consideration the closures of the K-12 districts in our region,” said Ward. “If most or all of the schools are closed in our service district and the weather is poor enough to cause legitimate travel and safety concerns, the college should have the option to close campus, cancel classes or have a delayed start time.”

Board members approved the first reading of the policy.

Action was also taken at the board to accept the bid from Amor Sign Studios of Manistee in the amount of $40,974 for a new sign at the Riemer Regional Public Safety Training Center. Other bids came from Valley Signs of Comstock Park and Johnson City in Paris.

“The college has worked with Amor Sign Studios in the past and been satisfied with their work,” said Ward. “Board policy 6010 provides that the evaluation of bids includes whether the vendor is located in the college district. The difference between the low quote and Amor is $83 which is less than 1 percent of the cost and that would fit the policy.”

Ward said another reason for choosing Amor was vendors were asked to quote canopy signage and Amor was the only firm to follow that request.



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