LANCASTER – Citing the outdated classroom and student services areas, the Antelope Valley Community College District Board of Trustees voted unanimously June 13 to put a $350 million bond measure on the Nov. 8 general election ballot.
“With a bond, there is an opportunity to get a large share – we are talking about millions of dollars of state money – in addition to the bond money the community would put up,” board president Steve Buffalo said. “You have to let the community weigh in on it, and that’s what we are going to do. I think the community will say yes.”
Many of the classroom and student service facilities at AVC have not been updated in over 50 years. Academic facilities need safety upgrades, roof repairs and other improvements to meet modern job-training, technological and safety standards.
The district plans for the Lancaster campus include updates to campus infrastructure, construction of new academic commons, career and technical education facilities, a student services building, gymnasium renovations, three instructional buildings and a fine arts complex.
A local bond would qualify the district for millions in state-matching funds that would otherwise be lost to other communities in the state.
“The state has tied our hands as far as how we can improve the campus. At this point in time, our only option is a bond measure or let the college deteriorate,” board vice president Michael Adams said. “We want to have a state-of-the-art facility for our students. We need to provide a quality education and a quality environment.”
Currently, the district serves 18,000 students annually at the Lancaster campus, Fox Field, Palmdale Center and other locations throughout the 1,945 square mile service area.
“Our commitment is to the needs of the local community, students and returning veterans,” said Superintendent/President Ed Knudson. “Our educational facilities need upgrades to provide students with the 21st century skills required for jobs in aerospace, engineering, manufacturing,
health or other local industries.
The district will be opening a new facility at 2301 East Palmdale Boulevard. This space will include expanded classroom and lab facilities in addition to counseling, assessment and library resources. Construction will take place this summer and fall with a scheduled opening for spring of 2017.
The impact of the bond on homeowners would be $25 per $100,000 of assessed value (not market value). All funds would be spent in Antelope Valley and could not be taken away by the state. The Nov. 8 general obligation bond measure adheres to the guidelines of Proposition 39, which requires approval by 55 percent of the voters within the college district. It also includes accountability measures, including a citizens’ oversight committee and annual audits.
Public input is welcome. For more information on AVC and the bond measure, contact the AVC Office of Marketing and Public Information at 661-722-6300 ext. 6312.
[Information via news release from Antelope Valley College.]