WATCH | NPC invests in security upgrades, energy efficiency

NPC Associate Vice President of Campus Operations Brad Hopper gives the Board of Trustees an update on campus security and energy efficiency during the monthly meeting on Wednesday. – Photo by Courtney Edwards of The Sentinel-Record

National Park College has invested in energy efficiency and security upgrades, as discussed during the monthly Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday.

Associate Vice President of Campus Operations Brad Hopper gave the board an update, reporting the college utilized federal funding totaling $954,116.93, according to a news release from NPC.

The funding was used to replace 98 split system heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units across the campus, Hopper said, noting many of the units were more than 20 years old, some approaching 40 years.

Energy efficiency incentives are available to offset the cost of the project, including Summit Utilities, which has started providing NPC with $600 per unit, which will total $58,800, the release said. Entergy will also provide a credit to the college once the project is completed, Hopper said.

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The campus operations team also started implementing security upgrades, receiving grant funds from the Oaklawn Foundation totaling $265,785, the release said. The funds will be used to add access control to the exterior doors of 16 main buildings on campus, Hopper said.

"I personally would like to have every door done, but we're a little short on that," he said. "But, our primary buildings, we did that based on our student load, population in each one of those buildings, and that's how we selected those 16 buildings."

While that project will take about half the $265,000 grant, the rest will go toward upgrading the camera system, Hopper said. The college plans to purchase a new network video recorder and replace some "problematic cabling," he said, to prevent further lightning damage.

With what's left of the grant after all of those upgrades, the college plans to replace about 100 cameras, he said.

The campus operations team is also working toward the plan of moving the maintenance building to make room for more student housing, Hopper said, noting those plans are projected to be finalized in August.

The operations team has also been working to improve the efficiency of many buildings on campus, including the Students Commons Building and the Gerald Fisher Building, by painting, shampooing carpets and redoing floor wax, Hopper said.

"I want to congratulate Brad and the maintenance team," NPC President John Hogan said following Hopper's report. "The quality of NPC's learning environment is an investment in student success. So, the work of our team to maintain NPC's campus is much appreciated. I personally appreciate it. It's not that way everywhere, so thank you all for all your hard work."

The renewal of Hogan's contract through 2026 was also approved during the meeting, motioned by Trustee Raymond Wright and seconded by Trustee Jim Hale.

"I'm very grateful for the board's confidence and trust in the leadership here at the campus, and appreciative as I have the opportunity to state that we can't be successful without your support," Hogan said.

Hogan also discussed the college's newly introduced bachelor's degree program through the University of Arkansas at Monticello, offering a bachelor's degree in elementary education.

NPC now offers seven bachelor degrees, which can be completed either on campus or remotely from Hot Springs and five bachelor degrees students are able to learn on NPC's campus, he said.