To the overwhelming majority of residents that passed Measure M on November 7th, they perceived it as great support for the future of College of the Canyons. The future, however, already appears to be here, as COC wasted no time in planning for their new buildings.
With the groundbreaking of the new University Center and the expansion of the Library already in motion thanks to another measure; 1D and fundraising, COC has hired architects to begin designing their first building at the Canyon Country campus.
This will mark the beginning of actual Measure M funds being put to use. In fact, while the building will be paid for by measure M, the architectural plans were budgeted for a long time ago. They were on the agenda for the board of supervisors November 8th meeting, and should Measure M not have passed, the plans would simply be scrapped. But it did pass, and the board approved the money to pay for the first building’s designs.
According to Sue Bozman, Public Relations Officer for COC, there are still a few steps in the process that COC must navigate before they get any cold hard cash.
Number one, the election has to be officially certified by the county. Once that is complete, the college has 60 days to set up the citizens oversight committee that will oversee the use of the funds. Then, the college will have to work with the issuers of the bonds, who will determine the ratings for the bonds, before they can be sold.
Not all bonds will be sold immediately, because once a bond is sold, the college has a limited amount of time to spend the money. While most of us find it hard to imagine that the very act of spending money would be such a thought consuming process, spending strategy is key for the college.
“The money we receive can go a lot farther if we take the time to plan for its use,” says Bozman.
The planning will aim to take economic growth, as well as the timing of bond sales into consideration. That way, is a need presents itself down the line, it can be addressed and included in the building plans.
“I often tell people that the whole process is like having a baby,” says Bozman. “We campaigned for so long beforehand, and then election night came and we were able to see something we worked so hard on be born when it passed. Now we have years of responsibility ahead of us to make this grow and develop in the right way.”