GCC officials look to boost support for $325-million facilities bond
With a little over a month before voters decide on Nov. 8 whether or not to pass a $325-million facilities bond that would pay for significant upgrades at Glendale Community College, school officials and supporters have spread the word about the campus’ need for bond-funded improvements.
If passed by 55% of voters, the bond, known as Measure GC, would cost property owners about $21 per $100,000 of assessed value.
Officials who are making rounds to local neighborhood associations and community groups to inform voters about the need for the bond to upgrade aging facilities are finding that many locals support the idea, said Glendale Community College President/Supt. David Viar.
“I have presented to a number of the clubs and organizations. So far, I’m finding very respectful support and a strong understanding,” he said, adding that many residents tell him they’ve attended the college or they know a friend or family member who did.
“I’m talking to people who really understand this college, what it’s meant. That’s very positive,” Viar said.
After passing a comprehensive facilities master plan late last year, which included an idea for a new facility for the college’s highly esteemed engineering, robotics and computer-aided manufacturing program, officials began eying a bond as the best way to fund major improvements.
Measure GC would also pay for key infrastrcuture upgrades, such as replacing deteriorating electrical, sewer and gas lines, in addition to improving classrooms and job-training facilities used by students transferring to a four-year school or those training to become nurses or firefighters.
Soon after the college’s board of trustees passed a resolution to put the bond on the ballot, Viar tapped former Clark Magnet High School Principal Doug Dall to help run the measure’s grassroots support campaign.
Dall graduated from the college before pursuing a career in education, going on to lead one of Glendale Unified’s most premiere campuses focused on science and technology, before resigning at the end of the last school year.
He said he was eager to get to work with the support campaign, calling it a “no-brainer,” to get involved, he said.
A recent tour of the campus convinced Dall even more so that the college could benefit from significant improvements because some areas on the school’s grounds haven’t changed from the time he was a student there 35 years ago, he said.
“There’s just areas there that haven’t been touched. It looks just the same as when I was there. You can’t stay current in 21st-century education without the proper facilities and infrastructure,” Dall said.
The committee has set up social-media accounts and a website, YesOnGC.org, and plan to run phone-banking events and send mailers to residents leading up to election day.
Any clear opposition to the bond appears to be absent from much of the dialogue about the measure, so far, and “nobody stepped forward to put in the ballot book any opposition or reason for opposing it,” Viar said.
However, some residents have asked Viar why state officials won’t pay for the college’s upgrades. He’s replied that there’s limited funding from the state and it’s important for local citizens to support the college, he said.
“I emphasize we really are local in nature,” he said.
Dall said he’s confident voters will back the measure.
“I predict there will be a strong level of support from the community,” Dall said. “There’s such need and there’s such support for Glendale College as a community institution. GCC is a true community partner.”
Kelly Corrigan, firstname.lastname@example.org