Back See this section in context: Criterion 5 Core Component 5B
5B.4: Facilities Available to the Community
Sauk opens its doors to community groups to host conferences, training, and other events. Although Sauk is the largest conference facility in the area, the college is careful not to market its facilities in ways that would compete with private meeting sites. Board policy defines the priorities for facility use and the types of groups that are required to pay rental charges (). Other educational institutions and most not-for-profits are able to use the facility rent free.
The 2010 Master Plan includes improving the community access to the building by clustering services around specific entrances. Renovation began in January 2011 when the Personal and Professional Development offices were moved from the West Mall to the East Mall. Other steps will be taken as the phases of the Master Plan come about. These changes will enhance community services already available on campus:
- Library services: District residents may request a library card and check out print and digital resources from the Learning Resource Center (LRC). Interlibrary loan privileges are not extended to residents because of non-compete arrangements with local public libraries. The LRC staff conducts three or four high school class tours a year.
- Testing: In the summer of 2010, the Testing Center was opened in a newly renovated 1,650-square-foot space. Tests proctored for external constituents include internet classes from other institutions, Dantes Subject Standardized Test (DSST), Independent Study Program (ISP), and College Level Examination Program (CLEP). This facility consolidated the same services that had previously been offered in various locations on campus.
- Technology: Sauk allows the public access to its technology capabilities. Computers and wireless access are available throughout the building. Users pay a small fee for the LRC printer and copy machine.
- Emergency facility: The college facility is available in case of a community-wide emergency. Sauk's emergency plan describes the three primary emergency functions:
- Shelter for the Lee County Health Department and Red Cross for any regional disaster.
- Emergency inoculation site for the Lee County Health Department. The H1N1 flu outbreak in 2009 allowed the college its first opportunity to cooperate by assisting with vaccine acquisition.
- Reception center in case of a nuclear accident at the nearby Byron nuclear power plant.
- Grounds: The grounds are available and have been used for tennis meets, cross country events, community walks and runs, to name a few.
- Prairie plot: For over 20 years Sauk has partnered with the local chapter of the Quad City Natural Area Guardians to maintain an 11.1-acre prairie plot in the front lawn and a 2.2-acre plot to the east of the building. Recently, ABC AmeriCorps secured a grant to expand the east plot and make it handicap accessible. A paved pathway to the existing plot and benches have been installed. The grant also calls for paths through the extended new plot so the community can more easily access the area.