Santa Monica voters will be asked Tuesday, November 2nd, to vote on bonds that would benefit Santa Monica College.
Measure S authorizes the Santa Monica Community College District to issue bonds up to $135 million to make facility improvements to specific sites.
The bond measure requires approval by 55 percent of voters in Santa Monica and Malibu.
Measure S would cost the average homeowner $77 per year and the average renter $13 per year.
“This will be the last bond for a very long time,” said college district president Piedad Robertson. “Measure U, approved a few years ago, was an internal college bond to replace earthquake-damaged buildings.
“Measure S has a long list of benefits to the communities of Santa Monica and Malibu.”
Robertson said the college district would aggressively pursue federal and state funding for some of the sites instead of using bond money exclusively for those sites.
State law requires the college district to adopt a specific facilities list in connection with the bond measure.
The college district is also required to create an independent citizen’s bond oversight committee and go through the process of an annual performance review and financial audit.
PROJECTS — Measure S would provide funds for these Santa Monica College projects:
n a Career Opportunity Center to support programs such as transportation, healthcare, environmental technology, logistics and biotechnology;
n a Childcare Center and Early Childhood Development Lab School;
Santa Monica College is a major institution for early childhood educators in the community, but the college is one of two community colleges in the state to not have a lab school.
n a Performing Arts Complex that includes a 500-seat theater for community use and educational use to meet new University of California admission standards;
Santa Monica College does not have performing arts facilities — which support transfer programs in the arts — and other community colleges in the Los Angeles region have received public funding to build such facilities.
n athletic field space for educational and community use;
Santa Monica and Malibu do not have enough field space for youth and adult sports.
n modernizing energy systems, providing fire safety and other environmental upgrades; and
n restoration of instructional and field space in Malibu.
PARTNERS — Measure S would provide $25 million to partner with the City of Malibu to purchase land and construct a Community Learning Center, ball fields and parks.
Partnership discussions with the City of Santa Monica are ongoing, college officials say.
The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District decided not to enter into a partnership agreement at this time.
ENDORSEMENTS — Measure S has been endorsed by Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights, Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, State Senator Sheila Kuehl, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and the Malibu City Council.
The Santa Monica College Faculty Association, Classified Senate and Associated Students have also endorsed Measure S.
Don Girard, director of marketing for the college district, said he and his staff “knocked on 20,000 doors and more than 70 percent of people we spoke to have said they support the measure.”
“Some of the Measure S projects are needed for the college’s educational purposes and other projects will help the college manage growth impacts on the community,” Robertson said.
Girard said the first project likely to be built would be the Performing Arts Complex.
Robertson said all bond projects could be completed in ten years.