Another few months pass and another few construction projects sprout up for Long Beach City College — the majority made possible by the 2008 passage of Measure E.
There is about $291.4 million that is left to be spent from the $440 million extension of Measure E. The bond’s latest offering was the opening of Pacific Coast Campus Buildings DD & EE, which roughly cost a little more than $25 million and are part of an overall project including AA & BB.
“I would say it would have been next to impossible to get most or all of these projects done (without the bond money),” said Ann-Marie Gabel, LBCC Vice President of Administrative Services. “There hasn’t been much of any state funding available for facility contracts (in a while).”
Voters originally passed a $176 million bond in 2002. That money has all been spent, and officials again lobbied the public for the additional $440 million in 2008 — it passed with a 73.2% favorable vote.
The bonds come from a property tax. Essentially, the tax is not to exceed $25 on each $100,000 of assessed valuation each year. The district area included all of Long Beach, Avalon, Signal Hill and parts of Lakewood and Hawaiian Gardens.
“It was extremely important in order to finish the projects that had already begun under the first bond and to set the campus up for what will be needed in the next 20 and 30 years,” Gabel said. “We have a very aged campus — some buildings were built in the 1930s.”
Improvements, retrofits, landscaping and new building projects have been split within the Pacific Coast Campus and the Liberal Arts Campus. Recent projects finished and in progress include DD & EE, LAC Bookstore Building 1, Veterans Memorial Stadium lighting and parking, LAC Building A Student Services Retrofit, LAC Master Landscape Front Quad and PCC building CC Retrofit.
Future projects will include LAC Math Technology Building (which has won design awards), LAC Master Landscape Center Quad, PCC Building GG, LAC Building C Retrofit, LAC Building D and PCC Building GG.
“Everything that is left has still been allocated to a project,” Gabel said. “So we really don’t have much of any unallocated money.”
Projects are all on schedule, each starting sometime in the next five years — officials said they anticipate bond projects wrapping near 2017.
“When the bond was originally passed, we had previously done a unified master plan for all the needs based on the projected number of students and space needed,” Gabel said. “That was sort of mapped out before the bond ever passed. That was used as the guide to determine the amount of the bond.
“Over the years we have changed priorities from what was originally set and that was really due to changes in program needs as well as an increase in construction costs.”
Now, those bond dollars and projects are nearing the halfway point.
“It’s improving the classroom and instructional facility environment, but also helping to alleviate costs we have to spend on things like utilities — which frees up money to spend on other areas,” Gabel added.
For more information, visit www.lbcc.edu.