ANTELOPE VALLEY COLLEGE : Expansion Tied to Ballot Measure

Antelope Valley Community College could face delays in building a number of urgently needed facilities for students if Proposition 153 is not passed by voters on June 2, college officials said.

The prediction followed a decision to go ahead with contractor bidding to build new library and administration buildings, facilities that probably do not rely upon passage of the ballot measure, the Higher Education Facilities Bond Act.

However, construction of a $1.2-million child-care center and a $10-million applied arts building may be more dependent upon Proposition 153, according to Bill Fellers, assistant superintendent of facilities planning for the Antelope Valley Community College District.

"If Proposition 153 failed, I'm sure there would be delays with many of our projects," Fellers said. "I can't say which ones we may or may not get."

The bond act, if approved, would provide $900 million in general obligation bond funding for a two-year building program for all higher education institutions in the state.

According to Fellers, Antelope Valley College has asked the state for approximately $62 million for 15 new projects, including the library, administration building, child-care center and applied arts building.

The state recently authorized the college to open construction bidding for the library and administration building, estimated at $5.85 million. Fellers said funding "should be assured" on those two projects. Construction on the new buildings, which Fellers said are the first at the college in 20 years, should begin this summer.

The only other new facility with any state approval is the child-care center, which was granted funds for working drawings, Fellers said.

Steve Standerfer, the college's director of public relations, placed the child-care center first on the list of priorities.

"It's a real need and certainly something the students have been pushing for," he said.

Standerfer and Fellers pointed out the college's need for new facilities to accommodate growth. Essentially, the new facilities would double the size of the campus, Standerfer said.

"We're one of the fastest growing community colleges," Fellers said. "We have about 11,000 students right now, and the state projects us to have 19,000 by the year 2000. That's about a 75% increase."

Standerfer summed it up in geographical terms.

"Land mass within the college district is nearly half of Los Angeles County," he said. "We have 1,945 square miles."

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World