Trustees approve $4.9 million budget; move closer to finalizing land deal

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)--Midwestern Seminary trustees approved a $4.9 million budget for 2002-03 during their regular meeting March 11-12 in Kansas City. Trustees also voted to continue the process of acquiring the Farmland, Inc., property adjacent to campus.

Trustees expressed support for the $1.4 million purchase of the 30,000-square-foot office building that sits on 24 acres of land, but the purchase will be contingent upon the completion of the "due diligence" process. A final report on all of the building's needed repairs was not available in time for the trustees' meeting. Midwestern president Phil Roberts will ask Farmland executives for a contract extension. The current contract expired March 15.

"The value of the property is a good value for the asking price," Roberts told trustees. "Even with repairs, this is a do-able size project for Midwestern. We can pay for renovations as we go."

As of March 18, Farmland had granted a contract extension; trustees will review estimated renovation costs before giving their final approval. Renovation concerns included the removal of asbestos, replacement of the heating and cooling system and stress on wood trusses.

The purchase would be paid for primarily by borrowing from the seminary's general endowment fund and paying it back over the next three years through fund-raising efforts.

In other business, trustees approved:

-- A $4.9 million budget for the 2002-03 fiscal year. That is a $164,400 increase over this year's budget. Approval also was given for a tuition increase of $10 per credit hour and a campus housing rent increase of 5 percent.

-- A motion made by trustee David Tolliver of Excelsior Springs, Mo., to have Roberts send a letter to the Missouri Baptist Foundation inquiring about their status with the Missouri Baptist Convention. The foundation's board voted last year to become self-perpetuating. Midwestern's bylaws require the seminary's assets to be invested through a Southern Baptist Convention entity. Midwestern has about $1 million currently invested through the Missouri Baptist Foundation. Roberts will send the letter of inquiry, and the foundation's response will be considered at the trustees' fall meeting.

-- A feasibility study of accepting the gift of a church building in downtown Kansas City. Bob Ganote, pastor of Covenant Baptist Church, told the board the church is willing to donate the building to the seminary on the condition it be used for urban mission work. Roberts said the building could be used as an urban ministry training center for students, and ministry partnerships could be formed with the nearby City Union Mission and/or the Missouri Baptist Convention.

-- The election of Thomas Johnston as assistant professor of evangelism; Walter Norvell as assistant professor of Christian education; and the re-election of Alan Tomlinson as assistant professor of Greek and New Testament.

New officers are: Dan Eddington of Carson City, Nev., chairman; Jim Fisher of Mobile, Ala, first vice chairman; David Tolliver of Excelsior Springs, Mo., second vice chairman; Gwen Newman of Winder, Ga., secretary/treasurer; and Bill Robertson of Monroe, La., at-large.

The next meeting of Midwestern's trustees is October 21-22 in Kansas City.


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