Saturday, March 24 , 2018, 3:13 am | Fair 46º


SBCC, Carpinteria School District Considering Capital Improvement Bond Measures

The initiatives, which could go to voters in November's election, would help fund campus renovations and new construction

South Coast voters will probably face capital improvement bond measures in November since Santa Barbara City College and the Carpinteria Unified School District are both considering initiatives to fund campus renovations and new construction.

SBCC last passed a bond measure in 2008, Measure V, which provided $77 million in funding used to renovate the drama/music building, the Garvin Theatre, the Humanities building, the bridge between the east and west campuses, and the La Playa Stadium and track.

SBCC is also constructing a classroom building on the west campus to replace portables, since the California Coastal Commission is making the college remove all 51 portables from the campus.

“They’re very, very decrepit and they’re on environmentally sensitive terrain,” SBCC President Lori Gaskin said at joint meeting Tuesday of SBCC and Carpinteria Unified.

The commission has seen a good-faith effort by SBCC to remove the buildings — it got rid of six more over spring break — but Gaskin said the college needs a bond measure to replace the rest with real classrooms.

The SBCC Board of Trustees has been considering a bond measure for more than a year and prioritized construction projects to replace the Campus Center, Wake Center and Sports Pavilion and build a new east campus classroom building and aquatics facility.

The board wants to modernize and upgrade the administration building, occupational education building, library, marine diving technology building, physical science building, Schott Center and student services building.

Those improvements would cost about $300 million, according to district estimates.

People surveyed last year were supportive of a $310 million bond measure, Gaskin said. The board still hasn’t decided whether it will place the measure on November’s ballot.

Proposition 39 bond revenues fund facility improvements and technology upgrades, and only require 55 percent approval by voters to pass, down from the two-thirds supermajority for parcel taxes.

Carpinteria Unified hasn’t had a capital improvement bond measure since 1995, Superintendent Paul Cordeiro said. The voters approved a $17.5 million bond then, but the district’s recent facility master plan shows a lot of facilities in need of renovation, board president Andy Sheaffer said. 

The district’s board hasn’t decided on a number — probably not more than $70 million — and is doing community outreach to gauge support for a bond measure this year.

Carpinteria Unified has 63 portable classrooms on its campuses and would consider replacing them with permanent, modular classrooms, Sheaffer said. 

Board members toured schools in Los Angeles that have these buildings in place now, and they’re permanent but much cheaper than constructing a traditional classroom building, he said.

The district could have a competing bond measure from the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District, Cordeiro noted.

“The good news in Carpinteria is that the community does rally in supporting kids and schools,” he said.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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