Board Places $295 million Bond Measure on November Ballot
By Jorge Casuso
July 8 -- Touting it as a boon for both students and the
community, the Santa Monica College Board unanimously voted Monday
to place a $295 million bond on the November ballot to replace outdated
The bond – which would cost the average Santa Monica and
Malibu renter $1.12 a month and the average homeowner $7.34 a month
-- would fund modernization projects on the half-century-old main
campus and its satellite facilities.
The new projects would include new state-of-the-art math and science
buildings on the main campus, and a new media and technology complex
and a job training building on two of SMC’s satellite campuses.
The bond also would fund the replacement of 60-year-old Corsair
“It’s going to be a tremendously good investment for
the community,” said Board member David Finkel. “I think
it’s a great deal for the community that surrounds it. I see
it as a win win.”
“We need to continue to invest in first-class facilities
if we want to continue to be a first-class institution,” said
Board member Louise Jaffe.
“It’s not just really just about our students,”
Board member Nancy Greenstein said. “We’re a college
town, and Santa Monica College is our college.”
The bond measure would be used to replace deteriorating buildings
and construct and equip math and science laboratories that are woefully
out of date, staff told the board. The upgrades would help improve
student training in science, technology, media, communications,
computers and emerging high-tech fields.
“Classes and labs are not equipped with adequate technology,”
said Don Girard, the college’s senior director of government
relations. “We can’t squeeze another class session into
our current (science) facility.”
Bond money would bankroll the following new facilities:
- A new math building that would replace a temporary facility
that, according to college officials, “is nearing the end
of its life cycle and lacks the infrastructure to support modern
- A science facility that would house the earth, life and physical
science programs currently operating in small classrooms scattered
around the main campus;
- A new Media and Technology complex at the college’s Academy
and Entertainment satellite campus that would also house KCRW,
SMC’s renowned public radio station, and
- A new career opportunity and job training building on the Bundy
In addition to replacing Corsair Field, which is a popular exercising
venue for local residents, the bond would improve the college’s
Pico Boulevard entrance, adding a new bus pull out and shelter,
as well as landscaping.
The new entrance will connect the college to the City’s poorest
and most diverse neighborhood, officials said.
“The streetscape on Pico I always though was discourteous,”
Greenstein said. “This allows us to make a real entrance to
“It faces the Pico Neighborhood saying, ‘We welcome
you,’” she said. “That’s a real important
The bond also would bankroll efforts to achieve energy savings
and complete earthquake repairs with citizens’ oversight,
annual performance and financial audits, according to college officials.
None of the money would be used for administration.
According to staff, the College has already secured state funding
for the Replacement Math and Science Building, and has identified
other projects that could be eligible for additional state funding.