The Kern Community College District began to lay the groundwork to sell first issuance of Measure J general obligation bonds and prioritize projects at their February meeting. The passage of Measure J last November provides the district with funding to modernize aging facilities and upgrade instructional technologies at all three colleges in the district: Cerro Coso Community College, Porterville College, and Bakersfield College. The measure passed by a 65.17% margin, receiving 145,217 yes votes.
Jill Board, president of Cerro Coso Community College, expressed gratitude on behalf of the college. “The final results are great news for our students and communities,” said Board. “We are overwhelmed by the confidence shown by voters who supported Measure J. Passage of this bond will allow us to make essential campus improvements and technological upgrades to provide first-class education to our students and better prepare them for university transfer and high demand, high skill jobs.”
The Kern Community College District Board of Trustees voted to place the bond on the November 2016 ballot at their July 21st meeting, to repair aging buildings, classrooms, and science labs; provide training equipment, and address urgent and basic repairs to all three colleges. The measure requires strict fiscal accountability including independent annual financial and performance audits and fund monitoring by an independent citizens’ oversight committee. For Cerro Coso the funds will be used for: building renovation, updating, and retrofit; energy conservation projects; Gymnasium parking lot remodel; hazardous, safety, and ADA projects; paving within property lines; and utility and mechanical upgrades.
When asked how the funds would be divided, Board wants the community to understand that Cerro Coso Community College is getting everything it needs to meet its facility and conservation goals. “We have done a great job in maintaining our facilities over the years, but things change, parking lots need to be repaired, codes change, technology needs increase, enhanced security measures are now required, andit all adds up, far exceeding what can be covered by any general or special funding.” She further explained that Bakersfield and Porterville colleges have much older facilities and have a larger tax base to support their college needs. “Cerro Coso’s facility and conservation needs will be met thanks to our constituents.”
“We cannot thank our voters enough for showing such a tremendous outpouring of support for our students and mission,” said Board, “I also want to thank the Cerro Coso Community College Foundation, Justin O’Neill, Shay Scott, and the many volunteers and students who worked so hard on the Measure J campaign.”
“I think everyone should be celebrating that fact that the bond passed,” said Board.