OGDEN -- The Ogden Weber Applied Technology College board of directors has approved a budget for the 2011-12 school year that features more funding for specific purposes, but no wiggle room.
"We're still operating on significantly less money than we had three years ago," said Tyler Call, OWATC vice president for college services and chief financial officer. "Before the budgets were cut, in 2009, we were about 13.5 percent higher than we are now."
The additional revenue in the 2011-12 budget is from two main sources:
* A federal grant for a contract called YouthBuild adds about $400,000 to the budget, but the money goes to pay for the program, which will help low-income students ages 16 to 24 earn their diplomas while working to build houses.
The 25 to 30 students accepted into the program will be paid for their work, will learn jobs skills, and will serve their communities by building affordable housing.
All grant funds must be applied to operating OWATC's new YouthBuild program, part of a national network, and in Utah offered only at OWATC.
* OWATC also gains $360,000 per year in state appropriations for the school's new Barker Family Health Technology Building, which opened to students this month.
"When the state funds a building like that to be built, it funds the institution to budget money for building operation, maintenance and cleaning," Call said. "We will get that money every year."
Those state funds cannot be used for other costs related to the building, such as staffing.
"Any growth to accommodate increasing needs of the health program would have to be done from our internal budget," Call said. "We have no money funded to hire faculty. The only limitation on our program expansion would be enough faculty for growth."
Call said the OWATC budget does not contain funds for faculty or staff raises, and hasn't for three years. Health insurance costs have also gone up, he added.
"All higher education and UCAT schools had 2 percent taken out of their health budget. We lost $48,000 as a result of that."
OWATC tuition will go up in the fall, but not much. The school will charge an additional nickel per credit hour. A full-time student taking 30 credit hours will pay $46.50 rather than the previous $45. Students also play monthly fees of about $35, Call said.
"Going from $1.50 to $1.55 a credit hour is not a huge thing," Call said. "We are doing our best to keep costs to our students down."
As for future buildings, Call said OWATC will take some time to consider its next focus. It took more than a decade of hard work to bring the Barker Family Health Technology Building to reality, and the next greatest need has not yet been identified, he said.