Updated at 6:45 p.m. Aug. 7, 2012
The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District governing board Tuesday voted to approve placing a $398 million bond measure on the November ballot that would add, on average, $40 to annual property tax bills.
“The district is in great need of funding to maintain and upgrade our facilities,” Chancellor Cindy Miles of La Mesa said before the 5-0 vote. “With the tens of millions of dollars in state funding cuts we’ve endured in the last few years, it is abundantly clear that to meet the educational and job-training needs of our students and the community, we need the public’s help.”
More than 230,000 voters live in the college district, which includes La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Rancho San Diego, Santee, Spring Valley and beyond to the Imperial County and Mexican borders.
District spokeswoman Anne Krueger tweeted: “GCCCD board votes to go forward with $398 million bond issue to replace and renovate aged and outdated buildings.” Earlier she said: “Two polls of 1,200 voters showed support for ... bond measure above needed 55%.”
A special meeting of the board was held at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Grossmont College’s Griffin Gate to consider placing the facilities bond measure on the Nov. 6 ballot.
The bond proposal is based on a facilities master plan that has identified needs such as expanded career training facilities, veterans’ centers to accommodate the growing numbers of Post 9/11 G.I. Bill beneficiaries, and updating aging classrooms, infrastructure and technology systems.
But it falls short of meeting what district officials identified recently— of $600 million to $700 million in upgrades, repairs and new construction.
The measure would require at least 55 percent “yes” vote from those casting ballots on the measure. If approved, the typical East County homeowner would be assessed about $40 each year, the district said Monday.
Ten years ago, East County voters approved Proposition R, a $207 million bond that, coupled with state bond monies, enabled the colleges to build 13 new and refurbished facilities that have transformed the Grossmont and Cuyamaca campuses.
“The bond program was held up as a state model with its series of unblemished audits and careful monitoring by its citizens oversight committee,” the district said in a news release. “The new bond measure would also require the creation of a citizens oversight committee to review finances.”
At Grossmont College, the facilities plan recommends replacing the many aging modular buildings placed at the campus more than 30 years ago as temporary classroom sites, as well as providing instructional and lab spaces.
Among the buildings being considered for replacement is a new facility for science classes, replacing a 50-year-old building “that is no longer adequate to serve students.”
“At Cuyamaca College, deteriorating and inadequate classroom buildings are now 34 years old and sorely in need of replacing,” the district said. “Among the facilities on the list is a core classroom and office building with frequent repair and maintenance issues that needs to be rebuilt to be brought up to code.”