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SBCC Will Ask Voters to Approve $288 Million Bond Measure for Facility Upgrades

Voters will be asked this November to approve a $288 million bond measure that will allow Santa Barbara City College to make improvements on its three campuses, the college announced Thursday.

The college's Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution to put a facility improvements bond measure on the Nov. 4 ballot that will go toward modernizing, upgrading and replacing aged and deteriorating academic facilities and technology.

“With the recession and chronic underfunding of the entire community college system, we have not been able to perform modernization to our aging infrastructure as we would have liked," SBCC President Lori Gaskin said in a statement. “After being lovingly used by hundreds of thousands of students over the past 40-plus years, many of our academic, science, engineering, healthcare and vocational facilities and classrooms are in dire need of repairs and upgrades.”

Noozhawk previously reported about the college's desire to upgrade portable classrooms deemed unsafe.

The project list includes items such as the replacement of the Campus Center, construction of the new East Campus Classroom and Office Building, replacement of a number of old portable buildings, Administration and Occupational Education Building modernization, Student Services Building modernization, Wake Campus replacement, and Schott Campus modernization, the statement said.

Bond funding also would assist with building efficiency and energy generation projects, as well as site and infrastructure improvements.

The bond would cost homeowners an estimated $16.65 per every $100,000 of their home's assessed valuation, not the market value, according to SBCC.

Annual audits and the creation of an independent, citizen oversight committee watching over all expenditures will go forward if the measure is approved.

The funds, by law, cannot be used on administrators’ or teachers’ salaries or pensions, the college said.

SBCC has gathering community input about priorities, and in the process conducted two surveys which showed the college has a strong favorability rating.

“We are pleased and grateful for the community’s support and belief in SBCC, and see it as a direct result of our outstanding faculty and staff and top-notch academic programs,” Gaskin said. "With the costs of higher education skyrocketing elsewhere, it is critical to address our infrastructure needs to ensure that future generations of students, including our local high school students and returning veterans, continue to receive the first-rate education and career preparation provided by SBCC at an affordable cost.”

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper 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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