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CCAC eyes borrowing amid lower enrollment

| Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Officials at the Community College of Allegheny County are weighing whether to borrow money to improve the school's financial condition amid a 7.79 percent decline in enrollment this fall.

College officials originally budgeted for a 2 percent to 3 percent decline from 2012-13 when full-time equivalent enrollment was 13,351.

“We projected a readjustment of enrollment, especially given the historic high levels of enrollment that CCAC, as well as other community colleges, experienced during the height of the recession and immediately thereafter. We are now experiencing a return to more normal enrollment levels,” CCAC President Alex Johnson said.

Although the college ended the 2012-13 year with a $3.7 million surplus, the decline in enrollment prompted officials to consider contingency plans to bolster the school's $112.5 million operating budget.

“We need to take steps to ensure we have adequate operating funds, just in case,” said state Sen. Jay Costa, who chairs the finance committee for CCAC's board of trustees.

Acting at his request, trustees on Thursday unanimously approved a motion to advertise for counsel to advise CCAC on the costs of issuing a bond or obtaining a line or credit.

Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or derdley@tribweb.com.

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