Allan Hancock College is asking voters to approve Measure Y to fund a new fine arts complex and other projects on campus. Administrators say campus facilities need replacements and upgrades.
If passed, the measure would authorize up to $75 million in bonds for campus improvements.
The college has proposed using that money to build new facilities for fine arts programs and athletics. Administrators say the current buildings date back to the 1960’s and weren’t built with the current needs of education in mind.
“This is not the college trying to replace things we didn’t maintain. This is when a building is 50 something years old, it’s just time to replace it, and we need a modern infrastructure or 21st Century jobs,” said Kevin Walthers, Allan Hancock College President/Superintendent.
The measure would require 55 percent approval in the district to pass. The community college district includes the Santa Maria, Lompoc, Santa Ynez, and Cuyama valleys.
Some people, however, question whether the money would be well spent.
“We are taxed enough already. California taxes are among the highest in the nation. Bond measures are particularly bad because they go on for years, and I don’t think we should be saddling the citizens with so much debt,” said James Nelson Sullivan, a Santa Maria resident.
The bond measure would cost $11 per $100,000 of assessed property value. The Santa Barbara County Assessor determines the value of a home each year, and it is generally based on the original purchase price.