Board Contemplates November Bond Measure
By Lookout Staff
May 15 -- Santa Monica College officials are gearing up
for a possible $295 million bond measure on the November ballot
to fund modernization projects on the half-century-old main campus
and its satellite facilities.
In a key step Monday, the College Board of Trustees approved a $90,000 contract
with Gensler to embark on the college’s first facility master planning
process in ten years. The Santa Monica-based architectural firm will return
with a report identifying options for campus sites in the fall.
College officials also presented a report Monday indicating that there was
public support for a bond measure that, among other things, would replace deteriorating
buildings and construct and equip math and science laboratories.
According to the report, 68 percent of the 500 registered voters who responded
to a scientific public survey, as well as13 of 15 focus group members, indicated
that they would likely vote “yes” on a $295 million bond measure.
“Respondents relied on information that the cost of the bond measure
would be approximately $1.12 per month for renters and approximately $7.34 per
month for the average homeowner or condominium owner,” according to the
The money would be used to replace deteriorating buildings; upgrade fire safety;
construct and equip math and science laboratories, and improve student training
in science, technology, media, communications, computers, and emerging high-tech
The bond also would bankroll efforts to achieve energy savings and complete
earthquake repairs with citizens’ oversight, annual performance and financial
audits, according to the report. None of the money would be used for administration.
“The College has already secured approximately $40 million in state funding
for the Replacement Math and Science Building, and has identified three other
projects that could be eligible for additional state funding,” staff wrote
in its report to the board.
During a retreat two months ago, the board directed staff to explore financing
the construction program with a ratio of 65 percent local bonds and 35 percent
other sources, the same formula being used for the current construction program.
In developing a proposed bond measure, staff has identified two additional
projects -- a Joint Use Learning Center at Malibu High School and a 2.5 percent
bond issue set-aside to fund projects “designed to upgrade College facilities
to achieve energy or resource use efficiency.”
On July 7, the board is scheduled to consider ordering a bond measure election
for the November 2008 ballot.