SCCCD kickstarts campaign to get bond measure approved to upgrade facilities

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Hundreds of millions of dollars are now on the line as the State Center of Community College Districts kick starts their campaign to approve a new bond measure on the June ballot. The money would make improvements to Reedley, Fresno City, Oakhurst and Madera Community Colleges.

Upgrading technology, constructing new buildings, and repairing aging facilities are the main focuses of a new $485 million bond measure that voters will be asked to approve this June. The State Center of Community Colleges District is hoping it passes, saying it needs to badly improve facilities that have been needing repairs for quite some time. "Our math and science building has a tremendous amount of asbestos in it and it has to be replaced," said Bill Stewart, Interim Chancellor.

Some students agree science labs are falling apart, not functional, and could use an upgrade. "I would really enjoy it because this place is really broken down, and when you sit you can't even, like, sit correctly. My legs are spread open when you try and sit down. And everything looks very old and torn up,' said Seth Chacon, student.

Stewart said the money would benefit all of the districts college campuses. Reedley College would get a new ag building on it's farm. Oakhurst College Center would get a permanent building to replace all of it's portables. An academic village would be built in Madera. Clovis Community College would also benefit. All of the campuses, including Fresno City would also see technology improvements. "We still have a long way to go and we are upgrading, and we're getting there. We're becoming more tech savvy each and every year."

First on the district's construction agenda, though, would be to replace the aging portables used for police and fire students and build a brand new facility on the southeast corner of Clovis and North. The 120 acres property would also house a brand new high tech center. Then, there's a new satellite campus district officials want to build in west Fresno.

To get the $485 million, property owners would be charged $18.50 for every $100,000 of its value. None of the money would go towards salaries or administration.

It needs 55-percent approval to pass and, so far, there has been no major opposition to the bond measure.

People in Fresno, Madera, Kings and Tulare Counties will be able to vote on this bond measure on June 7th.
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