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Green River Community College closes Enumclaw branch for summer

Plateau residents thinking about taking a summer class at Enumclaw’s Green River Community College campus will have to take those offerings at another GRCC site or wait until fall.

Thursday, officials at Green River Community College announced plans to close the college’s Enumclaw Campus for summer quarter as part of its budget reduction strategy.

“Unfortunately, continued budget cuts are forcing the college into the position of making decisions that impact students and the communities we serve,” college spokesman John Ramsey said in a press release. In a phone interview, Ramsey noted the decision was made in the past 10 days.

“It purely is a budget decision,” he said, noting officials anticipate having to cut $3.5 million across the entire institution.

He said the Enumclaw campus will close June 16 and re-open Aug. 15, with no plans to extend the campus closure past Aug. 15.

“This is just for summer quarter only,” Ramsey said, calling the summer closure a one-time strategy. “We have no plans to eliminate classes for any of the other quarters.”

According to Ramsey, the Legislature has reduced state support of community colleges since 2008 and budgets prepared by both the governor and the House of Representatives are proposing deeper cuts to two-year schools like Green River for the 2011-13 biennium, which begins July 1.

Closing the Enumclaw Campus for the summer equates roughly to $18,000, Ramsey said, a smaller amount compared to other proposed reductions, but painful nonetheless.

“We truly value our partnership on the Plateau,” Ramsey said. “We understand these cuts are painful.”

Approximately 15 classes – with a total enrollment of about 80 students – are offered during summer quarter at the Enumclaw Campus, said Leslie Moore, dean for branch campuses and continuing education. Credit classes affected include English, math, business and adult basic education. The temporary closure will also affect about 30 non-credit continuing education classes, said Moore, who added that four non-credit classes, which are offered at other Enumclaw-area locations, will still be available to residents. Those classes include Baker’s Secret, Babysitting, Destination Fly Fishing and Bike Maintenance. Registration information regarding these four classes will be available at the Continuing Education Office on the Main Campus, or online at www.greenriver.edu/ce.

Students who use the Enumclaw Campus during the summer for testing, advising, and other student services will have those services available at the Main Campus, Ramsey said. The Enumclaw Campus will resume its normal schedule on Aug. 15, providing student services in advance of fall quarter, he added.

Officials also plan to suspended the 84-page quarterly class schedule of credit and non-credit classes which has been mailed to approximately 185,000 addresses four times a year. That publication, along with the course catalog published every two years, will be available on line. The college intends to save approximately $125,000 with this move.

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