The Santa Clarita Community College District’s Independent Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee has accepted the results of an independent audit confirming that, for the twelfth year in a row, the district has properly accounted for all bond expenditures and issued the District an unmodified opinion—the best rating possible—noting no adjustments, audit findings, questioned costs or instances of bond noncompliance.
Eide Bailly, LLP conducted both the financial and performance audit, covering the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2019.
The firm presented its report to the District’s Independent Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee at a meeting on January 16, 2020.
“It’s reassuring to have an independent auditor come in and look at everything to ensure full transparency,” said Nick Lentini, chair of the bond oversight committee at the meeting.
The 2018-19 audit for Measure M confirms approximately $175 million in resources from the four bond issuances, which also includes earned interest and net premium on the bonds. The entire amount has been expended on authorized bond projects, closing out the Measure M bond fund as of June 30, 2019.
The 2018-19 audit for Measure E confirms approximately $55 million in resources from the first bond issuance, which also includes earned interest and net premium on the bonds. Of that amount, more than $36 million has been expended on authorized bond projects, leaving the District with a Measure E bond project fund balance of nearly $19 million as of June 30, 2019.
Sharlene Coleal, COC Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Business Services, acknowledged the excellent work of Jim Schrage, Assistant Superintendent/Vice President, Facilities, and the District staff members who contributed to a clean audit.
“The team effort displayed between Business Services and the Facilities Department resulted in another year of exceptional audits,” said Coleal.
Measure M was approved by Santa Clarita Valley voters on November 7, 2006.
Since its passage, the $160 million bond measure has helped fund a wide variety of major facilities and campus expansions at the college, such as the construction of the Mentry Hall Expansion, The Learning Center (TLC)/Library Expansion, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, the Canyon Country Campus, the College of the Canyons Institute for Culinary Education (iCUE), and the Canyons Hall student services/administration building.
The bond also helped secure $36.7 million in state matching funds that otherwise would have been lost and gone to other districts.
Local voters approved Measure E in June 2016 for a total of $230 million to fund multiple projects at both campuses. The bonds are funding construction of the Science Center, which is located at the Canyon Country campus and serves as a focal point for students and first-time visitors. The approximately 52,000-square-foot building will primarily be devoted to physical and biological sciences, housing eight labs, plus lecture classrooms.
The Student Services/Learning Resources Building will be the new home to Student Services and The Learning Center (TLC). The four-story building will sit adjacent to the Science Building at the center of campus and will provide office and library space.
“We are very excited with the progress of the 55,000-square-foot Science Center and are looking forward to breaking ground on the adjacent Student Services/Learning Resources Building at our Canyon Country Campus, both of which will enhance the access, persistence, and success of our students,” said Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook. “None of this would be possible were it not for the support of our local community that shares our commitment to making higher education accessible in the Santa Clarita Valley.”
Measure E also enabled the college to build a three-story parking structure at the Valencia campus, which added 1,659 parking spaces. Measure E funds will also go toward the renovation of several existing buildings at the college’s Valencia campus.