MT. VERNON, Ill. - Recent plans to move the Rend Lake College Coffee Shop from the college's MarketPlace location in Mt. Vernon to its main campus in Ina have been cancelled.
"Nearly two months ago, after reviewing the financials and discussing with my senior staff, I made the decision to move the coffee shop operation to the main campus," said RLC President Charley D. Holstein. "This auxiliary service has lost money for several years and the number of patrons purchasing from the Coffee Shop on some days was in the single digits. At the same time, this type of service was at the top of the request list from students at the main campus.
"However, after the announcement there was an outpouring of requests from our constituents to keep the service open at the MarketPlace. I'm not afraid to go back and relook a decision if new facts become apparent or if there is overwhelming support to the contrary. There was never a plan to close or move the free Internet café offered at the Market Place.
"We still had the problem of the service losing money," he added. "In these hard economic times, I could not, in good faith to our taxpayers, continue to operate this service at a loss. Our CFO, Larry West, was given the task to find a solution. He has done an excellent job and I'm happy to report we have a solution that turns a revenue-losing enterprise into a revenue-generating enterprise with the renting of the space to a local entrepreneur, Helen Coble.
"It was good timing as we were able to come to terms with Mrs. Coble in leasing the Coffee Shop," said Larry West, vice president of finance and administration at RLC. "This gives her an opportunity as well as turns our loss into a profit, creating a win-win situation."
Holstein said the college's administrators and Board of Trustees gladly accept suggestions from students, members of the community, faculty and staff who use any RLC facilities, whether it is on the main campus in Ina, or at the Mt. Vernon or Pinckneyville campus locations.
"While it's not possible to support every suggestion we receive, we are very happy to consider each one as an opportunity to improve what we offer," Holstein said. "In this case, the request to reconsider the decision resonated with everyone concerned. We are looking at different options for a coffee shop on the main campus as we consider location options and funds available. Other food options will be available in the spring to support concerns from our students. There is currently only one food option on campus aside from vending and when the floodgates open at lunch, the wait in line can sometimes consume an entire lunch break. This is a result of our enrollment continuing to grow each semester."
For all things RLC, visit the college online at www.rlc.edu.