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Community College District Measures seek to improve area colleges


Antelope Valley Community College Bond

The Antelope Valley Community College Board of Trustees unanimously voted in June to put a $350 million bond measure on the Nov. 8 ballot, citing the outdated student service areas and classrooms at the school.

Some of the college’s facilities haven’t been updated in 50 years and are in need of safety upgrades, roof repairs and other improvements. The bond would also include the updating of technology, math, engineering, aerospace and advanced classrooms and labs, as well as the expansion of a job training program to prepare students for local aerospace, engineering and manufacturing jobs.

The impact on homeowners for the Lancaster campus is estimated to be around $25 per $100,000 of assessed value. Funds generated by the bond would be spent only in Antelope Valley and could not be taken away by the state for other community colleges.

The bond requires 55 percent approval of voters in the college district, and it includes accountability measures that include a citizens’ oversight committee and annual audits.

According to public records, the district serves 18,000 students a year and the AV College’s Lancaster campus, Fox Field, Palmdale Center and other locations throughout the 1,945-square mile service area.

Santa Clarita Community College Bond

This bond would increase the district’s debt by $230 million. District officials estimate the bond will cost taxpayers about $15 per $100,000 in assessed value. As with the other measures, a 55 percent majority vote is required for the approval of this bond.

Funds received as a result of the measure would be used for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation or replacement of school facilities at College of the Canyons.

Examples of authorized projects include: constructing new buildings that add classrooms and science labs at the Canyon County and Valencia campuses; adding a parking structure at the Valencia Campus; constructing and/or upgrading career and vocational classrooms; upgrading facilities for student support services; classrooms and labs for science, technology, engineering, and math-related fields; and expanding facilities to enhance training of law enforcement officers, fire-fighting personnel, emergency medical technicians, nurses and other allied health professionals.

The bond money cannot be used for teacher, college administrator or facility manager salaries and operating expenses.

However, this is the third community college improvement bond in 15 years in this district, and the only opponent on record, the California Taxpayers Action Network, argues that the estimated impact on taxpayers is too low.