Voters in the San Gorgonio Pass area will be asked on Nov. 2 to decide on a bond measure that will pay for the construction of the initial phase of the Mt. San Jacinto College Pass campus.
The Mt. San Jacinto Board of Trustees adopted a resolution on July 22, 2010 to place the general obligation bond measure on the November ballot. The general obligation bond will not exceed $47 million and can be used only for costs associated with the Pass area campus, which is under construction at Sunset and Westward avenues, south of Interstate 10.
If the measure is approved, homeowners would pay about $24 a year for a property assessed at $100,000.
Funds from the bond can be used for construction, equipment and other costs related only to the Pass campus. Funds will remain local and cannot be used to pay for administrators’ salaries or operating costs. The MSJC Board will appoint a local citizens’ oversight committee to monitor bond expenditures. The Board voted 4 – 1 to place the measure on the ballot, with Trustee Ann Motte dissenting.
MSJC began construction of the first elements of the Pass area campus this year with the help of $750,000 from the city of Banning’s Community Redevelopment Agency. The campus will have four classrooms, offices, bathrooms, a parking lot and drought-tolerant landscaping. It will open in November for counseling and enrollment and in January for classes.
The general obligation bond would allow MSJC to continue to meet the educational needs of students in the Pass, including transfer courses and job training programs.
The resolution adopted by the Board outlines the benefits of a general obligation bond:
- Job creation
- Local access to higher education
- Courses to transfer transfers to four-year universities
- Job training
- Community colleges serve all ages, from high school graduates to older residents
- A campus with science and computer labs and new classrooms.
- Attract new employers to the Pass
- Boost to local economy
- Qualifies the district for millions in state matching grants to help build the Pass campus and reduce taxpayer costs.