A Santa Monica College public opinion poll held to determine if voters in Santa Monica and Malibu would support the college plans for a potential $175 million bond measure in November indicates that most voters do support the bond measure.

The poll was presented to the college board of trustees last week and will help the college make a decision Monday, August 2nd, about placing the bond measure on this year’s ballot.

Results indicate that 69 percent of voters in Santa Monica and Malibu would support the bond, 26 percent would not and five percent are unsure.

The margin of error is plus or minus five percent.

Four hundred people were asked if they would vote for a bond measure to allow the college to “construct and equip classrooms, learning labs, a childcare center and a new career opportunity center in emerging technologies” and “replace or repair deteriorating buildings.”

College marketing director Don Girard presented the poll results. He said the poll is reliable and was created by the same pollsters that the City of Santa Monica uses.

The proposed bond measure is a result of a yearlong study of college facilities and an effort to identify partnership opportunities in areas of physical education, recreation, culture, social welfare and transportation.

College officials have been discussing partnership opportunities with the City of Santa Monica, the City of Malibu and the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.

Partnership agreements would need to be approved by the governing agencies of all four parties.

“When four elected bodies agree on something, that is very powerful,” said Carole Currey, college board of trustees vice chair.

Possible partnerships have been identified by the college as educational use in conjunction with community use for the five-acre site at 415 Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica and college course and athletic fields in Malibu.

Other possible partnerships would create:

n an outdoor fitness park for children on the college main campus in Santa Monica;

n a performing arts complex at the Madison campus in Santa Monica to also be used by community organizations;

n additional physical education field space in Santa Monica and Malibu; and

n a childcare center and laboratory in Santa Monica, to be used by the city, the school district and students taking college courses in childhood development.

The bond measure would need to be approved by 55 percent of voters in the Santa Monica College District, which encompasses Santa Monica and Malibu.

If the bond measure is approved by voters and the college’s partners make joint-use agreements, $100 million of the $175 million would be used for partnership opportunities.

Santa Monica would have access to $75 million of the $100 million and Malibu would get $25 million, according to a staff report prepared by college superintendent/president Piedad Robertson.

The average cost of the bond would be $6.40 per month for a homeowner and $1.12 per month for a renter.

Girard recommended to the board of trustees that the college write into the bond measure language two restrictions:

n “Proposed bond funds may not be used to purchase residential property.”

n “Santa Monica College will not unilaterally override City of Santa Monica land use authority for new joint-use, off-campus field space projects.”

People who were polled and community groups such as the Pico Neighborhood Association and Friends of Sunset Park suggested that the college make those restrictions to encourage voters to support the bond, Girard said.

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