The Santa Barbara Community College District Board of Trustees today unanimously approved a resolution to place a $288 million facility improvements bond measure on the November 4, 2014 ballot.
The bond will allow for modernizing, upgrading, and replacing aged and deteriorating academic facilities and technologies at Santa Barbara City College’s three campuses and ensure that students have access to high-quality, affordable colleges classes and programs to help them prepare for careers and/or transfer to four-year universities.
“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” said SBCC President Lori Gaskin. “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.”
Among the facilities on the project list are replacement of the Campus Center, construction of the new East Campus Classroom and Office Building (replacing a number of aged portable buildings), Administration and Occupational Education Building modernization, Student Services Building modernization, Wake Campus replacement, and Schott Campus modernization. Bond funding also would assist with building efficiency and energy generation projects and site and infrastructure improvements.
The Board decision follows a year-long effort to obtain stakeholder and community input on college needs and priorities and included two community surveys conducted by an independent polling firm. In each instance, the survey results showed that the randomly selected respondents (601 in the first and 501 in the second) gave SBCC a more than 90% favorability rating, indicating strong approval of the job SBCC is doing.
“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,” said President Gaskin. “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.”
The $288 million bond would cost homeowners an estimated $16.65 per every $100,000 of their homes’ assessed valuation (not market value). Bond measures require annual audits and the creation of an independent, citizen oversight committee that oversees all expenditures to guarantee that funds are only spend on voter-approved projects. The funds, by law, cannot be used on administrators’ or teachers’ salaries or pensions.
About Santa Barbara City College:
Founded in 1909, Santa Barbara City College currently serves approximately 25,000 students each semester who enroll in courses for transfer preparation, career education, and foundational skills and an additional 4,500 enroll in lifelong learning classes. In 2013, SBCC was named national co-winner of the prestigious Aspen Institute Prize for Community College Excellence. The college was recognized for its quality and focus in four areas: facilitating underrepresented and minority student success, student learning outcomes, degree completion and transfer rates, and labor market success in securing good jobs after college.
Our Mission: As a public community college dedicated to the success of each student…Santa Barbara City College provides students a diverse learning environment that inspires curiosity and discovery, promotes global responsibility and fosters opportunity for all.