School board to approve CRC 2022 budget this week

The Brown County Career Resource Center is expected to bring in an additional $20,000 in revenue next year as plans to offer more adult programming continue to take shape in their new space.

CRC Director Greg Pagnard presented the budget for 2022 at the Nov. 18 Brown County School Board of Trustees meeting.

Revenue projections for next year show the CRC bringing in $328,500 in revenue. For this year revenue was projected to be $306,991.

The increase in revenue is due to more money from adult programming, which is projected to bring in $74,000 next year.

That is a $21,000 increase over this year, Pagnard told the board.

“As programming expands, naturally you’re going to see a little bit more money going into that area. But for the most part we are looking pretty steady,” he said.

A penny of a 8 cent referendum voters approved in 2016 funds 50 percent of the CRC’s budget. The referendum is estimated to bring $137,000 in revenue next year, which is about the same as this year, Pagnard said.

The majority of the remaining budget is funded by rent from WorkOne, which is housed in the CRC, and donations, grants and endowments.

In 2022 the CRC is projected to bring in $50,000 from endowments; $20,000 from grants and $2,000 from donations. Fees student pay to take courses there also will bring in $30,000 next year.

The total amount of expenses for the CRC next year is expected to be less than revenue at $250,750. Expenses have increased compared to this year’s budget, which was projected to be about $175,050 this year when it was presented to the school board in 2020.

Salary and benefits for CRC employees will increase next year by $52,5000. Certain salaries, including Pagnard’s, are now tied to the revenue the CRC brings in.

“There is a natural increase there because of that,” Pagnard said.

In total the CRC has two full-time employees and two-part time employees along with the contracted instructors who teach courses.

Pagnard also budgeted for $5,000 more to be spent on marketing the CRC and its programs.

“We have the ability to host more classes and offer more programs, so naturally we want to be able to communicate that with the community,” he said.

In September the CRC moved to the former Brown Intermediate School building. At the end of last school year the doors to BCIS were closed for good as part of cost-cutting strategies the school board approved in February.

The BCIS building reopened as the Educational Service Center, which houses the CRC. There are also future plans for the building to be home to a daycare/preschool program with the goal of being the spot to educate people of all ages.

The new space allows for more classroom space for a variety of classes including certified clinical medical assistant and master electrician courses.

Pagnard said he hopes to use the extra marketing dollars to make sure everyone in the region knows about the CRC and what they offer.

“We get people not only from our community, but they come from all over the area to take courses at our CRC,” Pagnard said, noting that one of the electrician students came from the Paoli area to take the class.

“People are coming great distances to take our classes, which I think is awesome. I always ask ‘How did you find out about us?’ They say things like word of mouth. I would like to do a better job than word of mouth.”

Moving into a new space also means more money will be needed to upgrade software and computers, which resulted in an increase of $18,200 to the software line of the budget for next year.

Pagnard said he would work with the school district’s Technology Director David Phelps on creating a plan of what all is needed in the space along with creating a 10 year vision for technology in the CRC.

“We’re very mindful of our people and our community. We’re very appreciative of the money that taxpayers are affording us and we want to make sure that we’re making the best decision when it comes to spending that money. We take those things very, very seriously,” Pagnard said.

Despite the increases in expenses next year, the CRC will still have nearly $78,000 in unspent revenue coming in to cover future expansion of programs or other issues that might come up, Pagnard said.

He said he has been talking with the community and CRC partners Vincennes University and Ivy Tech about future programming at the CRC.

“What we can bring here, what people of the community want, what they need, what kind of businesses are out there that are hiring?” Pagnard said of future plans.

Pagnard said visitors to the new CRC are impressed with the larger space and the potential it holds.

“They see what we have, sure they are impressed, but I think they love the idea of the endless possibilities of what we can offer people,” he said.

”It’s a great thing for our community. We’re more visible now. When people come to bring their kids to school they drive right past our building. We make sure to have our signs out there.”

Recently the CRC held an open house for its high school equivalency program and six people attended, which is the largest group that has attended since Pagnard took over as CRC director at the beginning of this school year.

“There is a need in this community,” he said.

The grant funding the CRC receives also provides for the jail education program at the Brown County jail.

“We have quite a few people there who receive services from us. That’s been going really, really well,” Pagnard said.

The program is designed to give inmates an opportunity to obtain their high school equivalency, or brush up on their math and literacy skills for college or a job after they get out.

“It’s very exciting stuff going on there. I think the most important thing is people know that we’re here to serve them,” Pagnard said.

“We’re very grateful for the community to recognize what we do for them and what we will continue to do for them in the future. We’re always going to look for ways to increase revenue and better our program. I think you all are aware, everything costs money, and to improve and expand it costs. We’re going to keep looking for ways to do that.”

The school board is expected to vote on this budget at the Dec. 2 meeting.