Without taking sides on Measure S, I would like to provide some facts about the “press box,” which some are using as a wet noodle with which to beat proponents’ campaign. The “press box” was largely funded by a gift from Eli Luria and the Luria Foundation. Construction saw some cost overruns and some Measure V funds were used to complete the project, a legitimate use of Measure V funds.
The “press box” is actually three buildings on the upper rim of La Playa Stadium. The old press box, dating from the 1940s, was structurally unsound, unsafe, and inadequate, and it required up-dating and re-equipping. The middle of the three new structures is now a reasonably equipped audio facility, safe, and “adequate” for its intended purpose. Its separate halves are used daily for small classes, conferences, and meetings.
The other two buildings in the complex are classroom buildings, constantly in daily use, and only incidentally configured for “press box” use. As classroom buildings, a very small part was legitimately paid for out of Measure V funds.
Finally, La Playa Stadium is not the property of City College. It belongs to the City of Santa Barbara, which leases it to SBCC for joint-use purposes, college athletic and physical education programs, and as a jogging, recreational, and personal physical fitness site for the public. The college pays all maintenance costs for the football field and track; the whole shebang, “press box” and all, belongs to the city, its citizens, and the public at large. That’s a pretty good deal for the citizens.
Can we now move on to discuss the real issues in Measure S and not manufactured red herrings?