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num following last August s "tnal run" of the facility ? the community college's commencement exer
Governor Hunt To Be Keynote Speaker
At Williamson Auditorium Dedication
BY SUSAN USHER
Nearly nine years after Brunswick County residents
voted their support for a community auditorium to be
built at Brunswick Community College, the governor is
coming to help dedicate the long-delayed Odell Will
Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. will give the keynote address
at the official dedication of the auditorium Wednesday.
Aug. 10, at 6 p.m.
The 1.500-scat facility was built
using approximately half the pro
ceeds of an $8 million bond issue
approved by voters in 1985 for cam
pus construction. The college later
named the structure in honor of
Ocean Isle Beach developer and
state Board of Transportation mem
ber Odell Williamson Interest from
a half-million dollar endowment by
Williamson is used for management
of the auditorium.
Both the dedication ceremony and a reception after
ward are open to the public.
In addition to Hunt's remarks, the tentative program
includes musical selections by the Brunswick County
Band, a welcome from BCC President W. Michael
Reaves and remarks by Williamson.
Ground was broken in September 1989 for the audi
torium but because of a series of design-related set
backs. bids were not awarded until August 1991.
Completion was delayed by additional setbacks during
the construction phase.
Construction was expected to take 13 to 14 months,
with the auditorium to be dedicated in fall 1992. How
ever, work fell far behind schedule. Last summer the
general contractor. Hatcher Construction Co. of
Fayetteville, was removed from the job.
Various questions of legal and financial responsibili
ty for the project arc still to be resolved by BCC,
Hartford Insurance, which held Hatcher's performance
bond, and the State Office of Construction.
BCC's August 1993 graduation and Brunswick
Electric Membership Corp's 1993 annual meeting last
October became the first events held in the auditorium,
which has since hosted concerts, dance recitals, confer
ences and musicals under the management of Mike
Several last bits of work ? landscaping and a new
water line ? must be finished before the auditorium pro
ject is completed.
Additional water pressure is needed to operate the
auditorium's revamped stage sprinkler system. Until it
becomes available, as a safety precaution. Supply volun
teer firefighters and a fire truck remain on site every
time the auditorium is used.
Last Wednesday BCC trustees approved a $54,772
bid from Carmichael Construction Co. of Long Beach to
install the water line from U.S. 17 Business to the audi
torium and an additional water hydrant. The line will be
oversized to also serve future construction.
Trustees didn't act on a request to amend Boney &
Associates Architects 'contract and pay the company an
additional $10,000 to oversee the new subcontractor's
Vicki Spencer, coordinator of CP&L's Brunswick
Plant Visitors Center, is head of the dedication commit
tee. Other members are Lynda Stanley, Steve Skillman,
Mike Sapp, Gerry Shaver, Adrea Womble, Gaye
Fulford, Dianne Ledbetter and Anne Marie Bellamy.
The Williamson Auditorium is roughly modeled af
ter Kenan Auditorium on the University of North
Carolina at Wilmington campus. It seats 1.500 people
and has a single balcony, excellent acoustics, a fly loft
for scenery storage and accommodates the physically
Added To County Budget
Brunswick Community College
didn't get all the county money it
asked for, but Brunswick County
Commissioners did come through
with the extra money need to keep
the Odell Williamson Auditorium in
BCC had requested S 1 .04 million
from the county, including more
than S160.000 for operation of the
auditorium While located on the
college campus and managed by
BCC, the auditorium is a public fa
cility built with county money.
BCC ' eventually received
$893,595. an increase of S139.932
over 1993-1994 and Si 10,000 more
than commissioners first allocated.
The increase is reflected in the re
vised operating budget of $1 36.283
for the auditorium.
This past year, according to Ben
DeBlois, vice president for adminis
tration, BCC absorbed the cost of
operation within its own budget, to
the detriment of regular college pro
grams. Estimates of auditorium op
erating costs for the coming year
ranged from SI 60,000 to S190.000.
In trimming the overall BCC local
budget to match the county's alloca
tion, DeBlois said the distance learn
ing coordinator's post was eliminat
ed along with S50.000 in distance
learning equipment; a mini-van; re
quested first -time S500 local supple
ments for all employees; and an in
crease in the president's supplement.
BCC will be eligible to compete
with other possible sites along the
N.C. Information Highway for
grants from a $7 million fund estab
lished by the General Assembly.
Prior to the short legislative session.
Gov. Jim Hunt had announced a list
of 107 to 110 sites that would be
brought on line and would have their
initial telephone line charges paid by
the state. If that plan had held up.
both Brunswick Community College
and West Brunswick High School
would have been prepared to begin
receiving and telecasting instruc
tional programs sometime this fall
over the high-speed data transmis
In addition to reviewing the col
lege's local budget last Wednesday,
? welcomed new trustees Kim
Butler and Dennis Crocker, and
guests attending their swearing-in
? eventually met behind closed
doors to discuss pendmg litigation,
after briefly debating when it would
be most appropriate to do so, given
the number of guests present. The
closed-door session was delayed un
til the end of the meeting. No action
was taken or announced after the re
turn to open session.
? hired BCC business computer
programming graduate Kathy A.
Grissett as the new faculty secretary.
Before relocating to Durham, she
was employed by the South Bruns
wick Islands Chamber of Commerce
for approximately five years in vari
aiic raparitigc Shi 15 pfCSCIltly gf.
admiistrative secretary with the
Duke University Medical Center
? approved a new student atten
dance policy. Students are expected
to attend all class meetings; students
who miss more than 20 percent of
all class hours may receive a grade
of F unless they officially withdraw
from the course.
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