Clatsop Community College will see a $4 per credit tuition increase, after its board approved a plan to cut costs next year.

At the board's Thursday meeting, members made a few exceptions to the plan that would cut more than $736,000 from the budget.

Funding projections from the state change daily, said Lindy Overton, vice president of college services.

"I think we're better off to do as much as we possibly can because I think we're going to have to do more," Overton said. "I don't think we have any slop at all."

The board will investigate combining two physics classes instead of offering the classes every other year as the task force recommended.

"It's possible, but really it's entirely dependent on the faculty and how they would like the classes offered," said Dave Phillips, vice president of student services and instructional programs.

Phillips presented data that suggested a cut in physics would not cause a drop in math enrollment because few took the two classes at the same time.

"It seems to me the student who wants to take physics would take math before they take physics rather than at the same time," board member Frank Satterwhite said. "I personally would like to see physics offered every year."

The board will also investigate options for saving money on the director of the college's fund-raising organization.

The college must still negotiate with employees about taking five days fewer pay, reorganizing the Lives in Transitions staffing and combining instructional positions.

The college's construction manager position will be maintained, but funded out of the plant fund, which pays for construction and upkeep of buildings.

College President John Wubben presented the board with an outline of planned upgrades in the next five years. The outline included mainly upgrades to Fertig Hall, the Library and Art Center. Upgrades to Towler and Patriot halls would be part of a long-term project, Wubben said.

"They will take so much more money to fix," he said. "It will depend on the progress in securing major funds."

The college is one of several community colleges that support an Oregon Senate bill that would pay half of the cost for building projects through bonds. If so, the college would have to ask county voters to fund $14.5 million, Wubben said. The college is also looking for funding through the federal government and has already secured $50,000 for building improvements.

In other news, welding and automotive students at Astoria High School may be taking classes next year at the college's Maritime and Environmental Science and Technology campus. The plans may go before the college board in April and Astoria School Board in May.

The school is considering moving the agriculture program, which is also run through the vocational building, but nothing has been decided yet.

Students may be able to earn credit for their high school classes at the college, Astoria High School Principal Larry Lockett said.

The partnership would cut down on costs for AHS, which now operates the Area Vocational School in Miles Crossing, said college board Chairwoman Marilyn Lane, who works as curriculum director for Astoria schools.

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