Measure Q: SAC hopes bond comes to the rescue

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MEASURE Q: For the third time in a decade, college officials back a bond measure that would help pay for campus improvements.

College officials are backing a new ballot measure to raise $198 million that would improve classrooms and buildings on the 65-acre urban campus.

Voters from parts of Santa Ana and Garden Grove are faced with taking on about $66 in property taxes to pay for improving aging buildings at Santa Ana College.

“It is important for Santa Ana College to have state-of-the-art facilities to keep current in our offerings to students,” said college President Erlinda Martinez. “It is a small investment with a huge return. The cost for the average homeowner is about $1 a week.”

This is the third time in 10 years that the college has asked residents for financial support. In 2002, voters passed Measure E, a bond that raised about $337 million.

Four years later, voters rejected Measure O, which would have imposed $25 per $100,000 of a property’s assessed value.

If passed, projects on the master plan for Measure Q would include a new science building, along with improved access for students with disabilities as well as upgrades to the Student and Veterans Resource Center.

“Just like a homeowner, there comes a time when you have to make major repairs and not have to fix things all the time,” Martinez said.

The measure would allow upgrades to career-training classrooms for science and nursing programs, as well as improvements to labs, libraries and centers for computer technology.

“It’s the first time in the history of SAC that we’ve ever got a SAC-only bond. All the rest of them were district-wide,” said Vice President of Student Services Sara Lundquist, a Measure Q supporter.

Lundquist referred to Measure E monies split between SAC and sister campus, Santiago Canyon Community College.

“In California, bond initiatives are the result of the fact that the state doesn’t have good fiscal mechanisms for its educational infrastructure,” Lundquist said.

Measure Q would also be used to upgrade the campus’ crumbling utility lines and for other renovations.

“One of the immediate things we need to address on our campus is our aging infrastructure. The water lines, sewer lines, all the things that aren’t very exciting, but if something goes wrong, it’s a problem,” Martinez said.

Not everyone agrees with the measure.

“Our city is already on the verge of bankruptcy, and a new tax on our residents is not something that we need,” said City Council candidate Shane Barrows.

Voters residing in Santa Ana College Improvement District No. 1 will be able to vote on Measure Q at the polls on Nov. 6.

TAX FACTS

$66 — Average cost per year for homeowners, or about $1 a week.

$22 — Cost per $100,000 of a property’s assessed value.

$2M — Approximate amount available for SAC to upgrade its infrastructure and renovate old buildings.


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