We Need the Complete Story on the Holden University Center

By Brian Massie, A Watchman on the Wall

While reviewing the Ohio Auditor’s report on the performance audit of Lakeland Community College something struck us as odd, or inconsistent with what we have been told about the Holden University Center.

Here is the Auditor’s statement found in the performance audit:

Key Observation 6: The Holden University Center was purchased by LKCC in 2014 for $13.5 million through the issuance of bonds. The purpose of the building was to host programs offered by four-year institutions. During the course of the audit, the Holden Building was mothballed by the College, meaning that it is no longer in use and any programs being held were moved to facilities on the main campus. While the College will eliminate some expenditures related to the operation of the Holden University Center there is still outstanding debt related to the purchase of the building, which will be fully paid in 2039. The building is separated from the main campus by a major roadway, and the College should consider options related to the sale or lease of this building.

We were told that this building was constructed in 2011. Was the building originally owned by another entity? Was Lakeland paying rent to this entity for three years, and then Lakeland bought this building in 2014 by hanging bond debt on the taxpayers until 2039?

Here is the abstract of tax rates covering the three levies currently in place for Lakeland Community College.

Note the debt levy for $40 million dollars that expires in 2041. Many Lake County seniors will not be around when that boondoggle is final paid off. Here is the schedule A from the Lake County Auditor detailing the property tax collected annually from the three Lakeland levies. Note that the Bond Levy collects approximately $2,249,556 (at a 94% collection rate).

We have been told by the Lakeland Trustees that the Bond levy also paid for the Applied Health Building and the HIVE (completed in 2018).

From the performance audit: “In 1997, Senate Bill 6 (SB 6) of the 122nd General Assembly was enacted into law and created ORC 3345.72 to ORC 3345.78. These laws require ODHE to monitor the fiscal health of all public institutions of higher education using specific standards and methods as well establish rules for fiscal watch and determination of a warranted conservator for institutions of higher education placed in fiscal watch.”

When we looked at the Auditor’s chart below showing the SB 6 score for Lakeland from 2015 to 2022, and considering the debt that was incurred in 2015 by the prior administration and Board of Trustees, we can only conclude that there was malfeasance of the highest order by the prior Administration and Board of Trustees.

We ask the basic question: Did anyone even consider the financial impact on the taxpayers of Lake County? Seniors are being taxed out of their homes while LCC’s administrators smile all the way to the bank.

When we think of Lakeland Community College, we cannot help but remember this classic video revealing the cornerstone of Lakeland’s teaching – the Marxist philosophy of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity:

We will reach out to the Lakeland Board of Trustees to determine the complete information about the Holden building, and will update our readers when the facts are known.

Categories: Lakeland Community College, Uncategorized

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