In preparation for November’s 2006 General Elections, Chancellor Nicki Harrington and Vice Chancellor Willard Wright delivered seven presentations throughout the Yuba Community College district, explaining the details and feasibility of a district facilities bond measure, Proposition 39.
The proposition, which seeks approval for construction projects and repairs on campuses throughout five counties, will require only 55 percent of the votes to pass.
“This election will be won vote by vote, person by person,” Dr. Willard Wright, Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services, told the audience of Yuba College staff on February 28. “That’s how you win this thing.”
The bond campaign is currently in the first of three phases. This initial phase involves planning for the campaign, working on public relations and polling the public.
The planning for the project has involved creating a Facilities Master Plan, from which details of needed construction and repairs will be gathered.
Wright explained that because the bond is in its first developmental stage, the recommendations of the Facilities Master Plan will be influenced by the results of polling nearly 40,000 registered voters in the college district, which stretches 4,200 square miles.
Soon after the polling is conducted and district consultants are aware of what the community sees as valuable for the campuses, the bond will move to the second phase, which Harrington described as an “informational and advertising blitz,” leading up to the third phase involving the bond campaign in November’s elections.
This second phase is when the advertisements will start appearing in the newspapers, and signs will be posted around the communities. Staff, students and faculty will be operating phone banks in three locations, calling people in the district area, to increase awareness of the bond campaign before November’s elections.
Wright will then schedule community presentations, introducing the bond to interested community groups, such as the chamber of commerce and rotary clubs.
The restrictions for the bond include a $25 limit per $100,000 of the assessed property value of each home within the district. But district administrators have calculated that the support in the district will cap at nearly $19, which amounts to an estimated $160 million that will be provided for the District.
The projected $160 million will be divided among the Woodland, Marysville and Clearlake campuses.
Harrington explained that Marysville’s plans include remodeling existing facilities, repairing the roofs and infrastructure, and building one new educational facility. There is also the possibility of building a University Center, in which universities like CSU Chico can provide remote classes.
Before telling the staff and faculty gathered at the February 28 presentation that his personal goal was to “put hot water” in the Marysville facilities, Wright explained, “This school is 40 years old. Everything runs out after 40 years. That’s why things need to be repaired.”
If the Bond initiative passes, Clear Lake’s campus can expect to pay up to $3 million to complete its Certificates of Participation payments. This payment will leave up to $300,000 for remodeling, constructing a permanent classroom and possibly building joint-use facility with the Konocti Unified School District.
As a result of expectations that Sutter County will balloon with another 250,000 people in the next ten years, the bond will likely set aside nearly $20 million to build an educational facility near the Highway 99 corridor. This will include constructing twelve classrooms, administrative offices and possibly another University Center for students.
Plans for the Woodland campus include remodeling the Student Services area and building a new educational facility. While there have been numerous requests for a performing arts center on the campus, there is also the possibility of creating athletic fields.
Lastly, the bond will assist the small outreach operation for Colusa County, which has a current population of around 20,000 and just over 300 high school graduates a year. The district aims to build a small, permanent joint-use educational facility for adult education in Colusa.
During a speech at Yuba College’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Harrington said now that Yuba College is “entering its eightieth year, our Board of Trustees is spending a lot of time, particularly on facilities” at the different campuses, reviewing what needs to be done to maintain “the excellent educational program” for the future.