A new agreement regarding the Tyler Junior College Bookstore could prove profitable for the school.
The TJC board of trustees on Wednesday approved a five-year agreement with Follett Higher Education Group for campus bookstore operation and management.
Follett has operated the campus bookstore since at least the early 1990s. However, the new contract increases the commission rate for the college related to the bookstore’s sales.
Mike Caruso, TJC’s director of campus services, said if the bookstore sales continue to grow at a 6 percent rate annually, as they have the past two years, the college could bring in $6.5 million in the next 10 years.
TJC spokesman Fred Peters said that money likely would go toward auxiliary services such as athletics and on-campus housing.
In addition to sales commission, the company also will provide TJC with $700,000 for renovation in the next five years.
Follett was one of four companies to respond to a request for proposal, but Caruso said the financial benefits of its offer put it “head and shoulders above any of the others.”
In addition to this contract, the board approved agreements with East Texas Medical Center for on-campus clinic services; PLATO Learning Professional Services for 75 additional licenses to access an online program for remedial education; and Cantex, a health care services company that uses TJC facilities as a temporary shelter for nursing home residents during emergency evacuations.
In other business, the board:
The bond funds will go toward the construction and equipping of a nursing and health sciences building on the TJC main campus. An additional $25 million from private funds and student user fees will help fund the building.
Administered the oath of office to two of three newly elected trustees. Board members Mike Coker and Lonny Uzzell took their oath. Board member John Hills was absent but will take the oath at the next meeting. All three ran unopposed in the May 12 trustee election, which TJC subsequently canceled.
Heard an update from Tom Mullins, president/CEO of the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce, about three TJC tax abatement agreements. Vernon E. Faulconer Inc., Reef Services and Sealtite Building Fasteners have created 120 jobs to date and invested more than $25 million in new facilities and equipment in Smith County, according to information provided by the college. All three projects are in compliance with terms and the two tax abatement oversight committees recommend 100 percent tax abatement for the companies this year.