$845 Million Bond for Science Building, Workforce Programs, Classroom Renovations
Last week, the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) Board of Trustees voted to authorize a facilities bond ballot initiative in the amount of $845 million for the general election on March 3, 2020.
The bond will fund extensive campus improvement projects at the region’s flagship community college, including a new science building at the main Ocean Campus, modernized facilities for career training programs at the Bayview-Hunters Point Campus on Evans Avenue and repairs and upgrades to nearly all classroom buildings, some of which have not been renovated for over fifty years. This major construction project will be one of the largest of its kind for a Bay Area community college and will include seismic upgrades and environmental improvements that will put CCSF on the path to a zero-carbon footprint.
“We are grateful to our Board of Trustees for its vision and leadership,” said Chancellor Mark Rocha. “This action is a historic step forward to creating a sustainable future for City College of San Francisco for the rest of the 21st century.”
City College of San Francisco was founded in 1935 at its current site at the corner of Ocean Avenue and Frida Kahlo Way near the Balboa Park BART station. The original science building opened in 1939 and still stands, largely unchanged. Dr. Rueben Smith, the Senior Vice Chancellor for Facilities and Capital Planning, led the development of a Facilities Master Plan that will, for example, preserve the science building as well as Cloud Hall, the major academic building opened in the 1960s. “We will not demolish our historic buildings and the proud past of City College of San Francisco as we provide the renewed environment that our students, teachers and community deserve in the 21st century.”
Facilities Master Plan priority projects include:
- Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) Center, Main Campus
- Bayview-Hunters Point Career Training Facilities Expansion and Renovation
- Historic Main Building, Original Science Hall Renovation
- Main Academic Classroom Building, Cloud Hall Renovation
- Performing Arts and Education Center with Diego Rivera “Pan American Unity” Mural
- New Child Care Center
- Student Union and Student Success Center
CCSF Board of Trustees President Alex Randolph has led the effort to ensure the long-term future of the college. “This bond is essential for revitalizing City College’s aging campus and serving our students,” said Randolph. “Our economy is changing, the needs of our students are changing, and this bond will help make sure our buildings are safe, modern, and sustainable.”
Student Trustee Bryan Daley proudly voted ‘aye’ for the bond authorization at the Board meeting on September 26. “The students are very grateful for the way the college and community have supported this important funding measure.”
The President of the City College Foundation, Ms. Kat Anderson, noted how important the bond is not only to current students but to the general well-being of the San Francisco economy. “The Foundation enthusiastically supports this bond because it will lead to an expansion of workforce programs that will train and retrain students for the livable-wage jobs that are available in our great city right now.”
CCSF leaders are currently pursuing a formal Project Labor Agreement with the San Francisco Labor Council. Vice President of the Board of Trustees Tom Temprano noted “to paraphrase our great Speaker Nancy Pelosi this bond program will have the union label on it.” Not only will the bond program stipulate prevailing wages, there will also be internship opportunities for students and community members to work on the program.
Recent polling commissioned by the Board of Trustees and presented to the public indicated a high voter approval of nearly 80%, with 55% required for passage. If approved by voters, the $845 million in bonds would result in an estimated tax rate of 1.1 cents per $100 of assessed property value. The CCSF bond program will require annual external independent audit and a Citizens Bond Oversight Committee. All funds must be used for the direct costs of construction and not for any college employee positions or other college costs.
In the coming weeks CCSF will sponsor a number of community town halls at its campus locations throughout the city to inform the community and provide details about the bond construction program.