The State Center Community College District (SCCCD) held a press conference on Wednesday, Sept. 2 to announce recent developments in their Measure C bond. In 2016, Measure C was voted on and passed, providing SCCCD $485 million to repair, upgrade and build new facilities in the district.
The press conference was held at the Fresno City College campus, in the east courtyard of the Old Administration Building. SCCCD is home to Fresno City College (FCC), Reedley College, Clovis Community College, Madera Community College and Oakhurst Community College Center.
Board President John Leal began the press conference by thanking everyone in attendance and wanted to share some exciting news with the community. Leal introduced SCCCD President Paul Parnell, who talked Measure C and about the decisions made by the board of trustees.
Parnell said that there are 12 projects that the district is working on and that during the last meeting the board allocated more money to spend on Measure C.
One of those projects mentioned by Parnell will be a new Applied Technology building at the Clovis Community College campus. Clovis Community College has allocated $70 million from the Measure C Bond for the college and has also approved an additional $26 million from Prop. 51 by the state.
The Applied Technology building has approximately 66,000 square feet and will house students studying environmental, health occupation, water and wastewater, food processing, and electro-mechanical technologies. There will also be an open space for students and the building will also have office space for staff and faculty.
Phase I of the planning process has a budget of $51 million with $26 million coming from Measure C money. Currently the Division of State Architect is reviewing the building plans with a timeline to approve them and having a groundbreaking ceremony by spring 2021.
Parnell also mentioned that the board put together a $66 million construction contract with Harris Construction, who will be developing Fresno City College’s west campus.
“This is a testament to unity, us coming together to make something happen,” Parnell said. “We are going to start some projects that are long overdue.”
Parnell said that during the Sept. 1 meeting the board also passed a resolution that gave $205 million to continue with all the projects covered by Measure C. SCCCD’s newest community college in Madera got $6 million to build a Center for Agricultural Technology. Also, they are making plans to build a new fire and police academy in south Fresno.
The next speaker was Fresno Mayor Lee Brand, who talked about how happy he was that the Measure C bond projects were moving along. He also said that these new developments will help Valley residents adapt to the fast changing workforce in the city.
“I appreciate the benefits and the opportunities that our local community colleges provide for our local students,” Brand said.
Congressman Jim Costa was also a guest speaker at the press conference and spoke how education is key and that higher education is integral for our communities. He also mentioned that the SCCCD understands the commitment of providing higher education to all of our communities.
“That is what education is all about, a commitment to a future to form a more perfect union,” says Costa.