Updated: Sep 27, 2022
The district continues on their quest to modify all nine campuses, hoping to garner monetary support from taxpayers in the upcoming midterm election.
By Cassandra Nava, Managing Editor
The LACCD will ask taxpayers for $5.3 billion in the November election in the largest bond measure to date.
In an effort to keep up with a changing digital landscape, the district is opting to modernize its nine campuses by infusing technology in classrooms and buildings while updating infrastructure on and around campuses. Athletic fields and facilities will be renovated as well, while maintaining sustainability efforts throughout the process. At a district Board of Trustees meeting on July 6, Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez stated that taxpayers have supported the LACCD’s measures in the past, providing a total of $9 billion since 2001.
“By approving this, and by the voters approving this, it will provide fiscal stability to facilities areas for a very long period of time with less reliance on state funding,” said Rodriguez. “It also provides predictability in planning, predictability in stabilization for the future of LACCD.”
If passed, the measure will divide the $5.3 billion sum between the nine colleges in the district. Valley College would receive $496.01 million; the third largest amount behind Trade-Tech College and East LA College, respectively.
“Most importantly [the bond] discusses, and puts into very important detail, the infrastructure needs that the district will have for the next 15 to 20 years,” said Rodriguez.
While the district asks for the largest amount of money it has ever asked taxpayers, enrollment declines throughout the nine campuses. All district colleges have followed a downward trend of enrollment, with Valley’s headcount down 1,742 students from the 2020-21 school year to the 2021-22 year.
Campuses throughout the district may soon be able to financially accommodate Hybrid-Flexible courses. HyFlex courses allow instructors to record themselves teaching, while students can decide whether to attend online, in person or view the lesson online at a later time. Late last year, Valley installed HyFlex technology in a classroom and held demonstrations for staff.
Installing new technology in Valley classrooms will require a major upheaval of data lines throughout the campus.
“Many of the [wiring] components are sorely out of date,” said college President Barry Gribbons. “So redoing them is a significant task… Obviously we're doing a lot more video transmission with so many classes online. That creates much more complexities and much more demand on the network infrastructure.”
On Valley’s campus, buildings built before the 1970s will see the biggest changes, as those will need the most renovation. The Music, Art, South Gym, Campus Center, Planetarium and Motion Picture Studio buildings were erected between 1961 to the mid ‘70s, and have recently been assessed. Soon, these structures could meet the most up-to-date fire safety, structural and accessibility needs.
If passed, the bond may help the district reach its 2020 goals of achieving renewable carbon-free electricity consumption by 2030 and carbon-free energy consumption for all other energy uses by 2040. Valley would focus on reducing its carbon footprint by installing LED lighting and expanding the use of renewable energy.
There is strong initial support for the measure over various demographics, according to surveys conducted this summer. In order to pass, 55 percent of voters must approve the measure on Nov. 8.