Kaskaskia College votes to rename agricultural building to the John D. Cavaletto Agriculture Center

March 26, 2024

Centralia, Ill. - The Kaskaskia College Board of Trustees held its monthly meeting on Monday, March 25, 2024. Board members included Bill Hawley (Odin), Laura Wedekemper (Shattuc), Louis Kalert (Centralia), Jim Beasley (Centralia), Craig Finke (Nashville), Bryan Holthaus (Carlyle), and Madison Johnson (Student Trustee). Linda Stover (Centralia) was absent.

The board unanimously voted yes to the resolution of renaming the KC Agricultural Education Center to the John D. Cavaletto Agriculture Center. Former Illinois State Rep. John Cavaletto played a pivotal role in negotiating with the governor's office and the Illinois General Assembly to pass legislation approving the sale of the former Animal Disease lab to Kaskaskia College for the symbolic price of $1, demonstrating his commitment to advancing the educational mission of Kaskaskia College. Now, the Kaskaskia College Agricultural Center, the former lab, added a 48,000 sq. ft building that expanded the ability of the college to better serve KC students.

"John and his wife, Connie Cavaletto, have demonstrated remarkable generosity as steadfast supporters of the college and its foundation, showcasing their unwavering commitment," stated KC President George Evans. "Without John's leadership and support, not only in advocating for this building sale but also during the historic state budget impasse, KC would not be in the same position as we are today."

During the meeting, trustees were presented with a comprehensive overview of the new gym layout by Jon Carroll from Poettker Construction and Jerrod Joggerst from FGM Architects. They reviewed the floor plan and preliminary design for the project, which is scheduled to be bid on in mid-summer 2024. The proposed expansion will encompass nearly 29,000 square feet of new facilities, indicating a significant enhancement to the existing infrastructure.

The board also approved the following purchases:

  • A Class V Truck with a Gooseneck Bed from Schmidt Ford for $94,155 to use for towing of the college's mobile manufacturing lab.
  • A Snap-on Automotive Scanner Diagnostics ZEUS+ Certification Kit and Snap-on Advanced Driver Assistance Systems Certification Kit from Snap-on Industrial of Crystal Lake, IL, for $91,590.40. The purchase of these items will enable hands-on experience for learning how to effectively utilize at least 90% of all the available features found on the various platforms of Snap-on diagnostic equipment.
  • Two Tormach 8L CNC Lathe Premium Packages from First Technologies, Inc. of Brookfield, WI, for $28,427 to be utilized in the fitter and fabricator certificate program.
  • New NEC Projectors from ITSavvy of Chicago, IL, for $49,849.92. This purchase is fully funded by Title III grant funds and aims to improve the reliability and stability of technology across campus.

The board also sanctioned the establishment of a new student club named Sparks. Originating from the Residential and Commercial Electricity Program, students formed this group to showcase their community projects and generate interest among local high schools. Their endeavors include collaborations with organizations like the Centralia Community Center, completing wiring for the Breese Central Community High School Greenhouse, and working on a Clinton County Health Department project.

In personnel items, the board approved the new hire of Juliana Weiner as a Children's Learning Center Teacher. Additionally, trustees accepted the resignations of KC Strieker as a nursing professor, effective 03/06/24, and theatre professor Kevin McCarty, effective 05/10/24.

Random Photo of a Pretty Building

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