The new Student Services & Administration Building is beginning to take shape on the Valencia campus. The college received final state approval in April, allowing the project to move forward. Crews worked throughout the blistering summer to pour concrete foundations and footings and dig trenches for underground infrastructure. Crews began erecting the fabricated steel beams that form the building’s main frame in August, moving at an amazingly quick pace.
“With the steel framing now finished, the project is currently scheduled for completion in late fall 2014, as was originally planned,” said Jim Schrage, vice president of facilities planning, operations and construction.
The building will accommodate an expanded Admissions & Records Office with computer labs and kiosks for student use, along with a “Welcome Center” to help new students and visitors. Plans also call for a new Financial Aid Office, an expanded switchboard and mailroom, Counseling Center, Transfer Center and Career Center. The roughly $17.8 million project is being paid for with a combination of Measure M general obligation bonds and matching funds from the state.
Measure M Funds Fuel the Progress
College of the Canyons has experienced an unprecedented level of progress fed in large part by Measure M, the $160 million bond measure that local voters approved in 2006. This success would not have been possible without the optimism of an historically supportive community and the resolve of college leaders to make good on the promises of Measure M.
The most visible signs of progress can be found from one side of the Santa Clarita Valley to the other. On the east, an entirely new college campus has been created in Canyon Country. On the west, the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center was built atop a prominent perch along Interstate 5.
Other Measure M-funded projects include the Applied Technology Education Center, the first permanent facility to be built at the Canyon Country campus, and the dramatic expansions of both Mentry Hall and the Library, the latter of which provides an expansive, state-of-the-art home to the heavily utilized TLC (The Learning Center).
Two more major projects are under construction now: the Institute for Culinary Education, whichwill provide a long-sought permanent home for the college’s culinary arts program, and the new Student Services & Administration Building. These last two buildings, expected to open in late 2014, will complete the buildout of the Valencia campus. Attention will then turn to the Canyon Country campus, where additional permanent buildings have been designed and planned for construction.
Measure M has provided the funding to construct new facilities to accommodate an everincreasing number of innovative educational and training programs. The beneficiaries are those who come to College of the Canyons for education, training and inspiration now and in the future.
The bond measure is a key component driving the college’s recent progress, but a lesser-known factor has played an equally important role. The college has maximized every bond-issued dollar by leveraging other resources. The original $160 million bond authorization’s actual value is now in the neighborhood of $232.8 million. The value has increased with the addition of more than $5.3 million in earned interest as of June 30, 2013, as well as approximately $67.5 million in state matching funds. Moreover, the college has capitalized on market conditions by refunding bonds to reduce the number of years of taxpayer payments. All of this has been accomplished through prudent fiscal measures undertaken by college leaders and the careful oversight provided by the Measure M Citizens Oversight Committee. In the end, the value of Measure M will far exceed its original valuation – and save taxpayers money in the process.
“College of the Canyons has been extremely diligent about making good on the promises of Measure M – and exceeding them,” Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook said. “The community has entrusted us with building the best community college ever imagined. We’re making that happen by leveraging Measure M bond funds to attain the absolute maximum value possible.”
“We view this as an investment whose ultimate value will be measured in terms of how we’ve been able to transform people’s lives for the better.”