EWNCC Douglas opens – with a few glitches
Classes were held in Western Nevada Community College’s Bently Hall for the first time Monday. With the exception of a few unexpected inconveniences, the transition to the Douglas campus went smoothly.
The most significant problem was the phone system. Students calling the Douglas campus reached only a recording, saying the phone number was not in service. The phone service allowed calls to be made from Bently Hall, but calls would not come in.
“We’re trying to get them all hooked up and taken care of,” said WNCC Dean Bus Scharmann Monday. “It’s a real problem.”
Scharmann said GTE was supposed to fix the phone system Friday but did not come until 6 p.m., when no one was there. WNCC staff called GTE Monday at 8 a.m., Scharmann said, but at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday the telephone lines still were not fixed.
“It’s definitely a problem,” Scharmann said, “but it’s out of our control.”
Office Manager Diane Nungary said students were probably trying to call in to find out where their classes were and wouldn’t be able to. To counteract this problem, Nungary said, all Douglas students were being called to make sure they knew where to go.
The problem came from the WNCC Douglas number, 782-2413, at Mountain View being transferred to Bently Hall last week while the staff was moving in. But this week the Mountain View number was disconnected, but not reconnected at Bently Hall. While the phone problems existed, WNCC Douglas operated under a temporary number.
As of press time, the phone problems still existed. The problem is supposed to fixed by today, but if students still can’t reach Bently Hall by the 782-2413 number, the temporary number is 783-1805.
Other problems included the fire alarm going off unexpectedly because of a loose alarm pull-handle getting bumped, and a student who was eating lunch on the lawn getting wet when the sprinkler system came on.
“Other than the fire alarm, the sprinklers and the phones,” Scharmann said, “everything’s going great.”
Prior to Monday, WNCC’s Douglas classes were held at the Mountain View Professional Building and Douglas High School. Scharmann said the students and the staff were excited to finally be at the Douglas campus. Nungary agreed.
“We’re pretty tickled to be here,” she said. “It’s nice to see all the people with books, walking around, looking for classes.”
Autumn Honsberger, full-time student and part-time office assistant at WNCC Douglas, said she thought working and attending class in Bently Hall was better than at Mountain View.
“It’s just nicer because it feels more like a school,” she said. “It feels more like a college.”
Part-time student James Hicks said he had been waiting three years to attend WNCC Douglas.
“I didn’t want to drive to Carson – that’s too long to drive on a daily basis,” he said. “That actually prevented me from starting college.”
WNCC history instructor John Yurtinus teaches classes at both the Carson City campus and Douglas campus. He said there may have been some concern the campus in the Valley would draw students away from the Carson City facilities. But enrollment is up at both campuses, he said.
“They’ve complemented each other more than hurt each other,” he said.
Bently Hall, located on land donated by Bently Nevada Corp. and Don Bently, holds about 50 classes this term, accommodating about 600 students.