North Idaho College President Rick MacLennan confirmed in an online letter published on the NIC website that the Bonners Ferry NIC Outreach Center will close with the new year.

The Shoshone County center will not reopen this fall.

"As many of you know, the college was taking significant steps to address budget challenges, mostly due to declining enrollments, before the breakout of COVID-19," he wrote. "These challenges have only grown over the past several months. The budget presented to the board of trustees last month included a shortfall of nearly $4 million, of which a little over $2 million has been cut through the exceptional efforts of many of you. The budget proposes backfilling the remaining amount using college reserves."

He said efforts are underway to ensure the continued availability o f adult basic education and GED services in Bonners Ferry as well as dual-credit opportunities for high school students.

"While the closures were spurred by COVID-19, the many strides we’ve made (and continue to strengthen) in providing virtual services and instruction, will be purposefully directed to these communities and may actually provide greater access and engagement," MacLennan wrote. "As optimistic as I am about our interest and ability to better serve the communities affected by these closures, we need to acknowledge the sense of loss that will be felt by many. I am hopeful that our commitment and actions to provide greater access will ease this pain. We are already working collaboratively with community partners in Bonners Ferry to find positive, long-term solutions to continue providing and building services."

(1) comment

CAPT Seabee

We'll continue to see these reductions because, heaven forbid, the Trustees drop their NIC paid for memberships to the CDA Resort. Only one trustee (Todd Banducci) voted to eliminate it. A budget review would show what amounts actually got to point-of-service value to the rural communities. So many people who NIC can serve do not have a voice because they don't live in the Los CDA voting district.

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