Education Lab

$485 million State Center bond could be up for vote in June

A $485 million bond to expand the State Center Community College District could be up for vote sooner than expected.

The center’s Board of Trustees will vote on Tuesday whether to place the bond measure – which would build new campuses and modernize the existing five – on the June 7 ballot. The bond measure initially was planned for the November election.

“Since the costs of attending four-year universities is skyrocketing, more local students are relying on community colleges ...” the resolution to be presented at Tuesday’s board meeting states. “The state is not providing the district with enough money for the district to adequately maintain its educational facilities and academic programs.”

The bond proposal includes $170 million for construction at Fresno City College, the bulk of which would go to a long-desired parking garage and a new math and science building.

Another priority would be constructing a new campus in southeast Fresno, with $60 million planned to help develop 120 acres at Clovis and North avenues into a vocational center. The district’s vocational program, as well as fire and police academies would be housed at the new location.

Other plans include new or modernized buildings at the district’s campuses in Reedley, Clovis and Madera; constructing a new Oakhurst Center; and money that could match donations to construct a new performing arts center.

State Center Trustee Miguel Arias, who also serves as the lead spokesman for Fresno Unified, said Monday that the bond will help “generations of need.”

“We’ve seen tremendous growth, and that requires new buildings to meet the demands,” he said. “We think this is the opportune time to go before the voters. The ballot in June would not have too many competing items, especially related to bonds. We think we’ve made a strong case to our residents across four counties.”

Mackenzie Mays: 559-441-6412, @MackenzieMays

State Center board meeting

When: 4:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Reedley College Student Center, Room STC-100

On the agenda: Placing a $485 million bond vote on June 7 primary ballot