The Board of Trustees of Cabrillo College has put together a new bond measure to appear on the March 3, 2020 primary ballot. Ballot Measure R will seek to raise $274.1 million dollars to improve facilities at both the Aptos and Watsonville campuses.
County residents may recall that there was a larger, $310 million bond measure for Cabrillo in 2016 (Measure Q). This effort failed to win the minimum necessary 55% “Yes” to pass – it fell about 1% short. This time around, the Trustees have put together a plan that has better support among students and faculty, and it is hoped that in 2020, the community will lend enough to support to get the measure passed.
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Specifically, this money will be spent on the following projects:
- $84 Million: New Science Building
- $72.9 Million: Library Renovation and Secondary Effects
- $60.7 Million: Major Renovation of 200 Building to Co-Locate All Student Services
- $23 Million: Watsonville Public Safety Center
- $17 Million: IT and Facilities Allocation
- $11 Million: Building 350 – Reconfigure Instructional Classrooms for Larger Lecture Halls
- $3 Million: Building 500, 600, 1600 Modernization – CA State Match –
- $2.5 Million: Critical Needs (emergency fixes)
Less specifically, the money will be used to:
- Upgrade training classrooms to prepare students for 21st-century careers
- Prepare more students to transfer to four-year colleges and universities
- Improve educational resources for returning veterans
- Update classroom technology and science, engineering and math labs
- Expand access to college classrooms for people with disabilities
- Upgrade aging classrooms and replace outdated wiring and sewer lines
- Establish a public safety training center in Watsonville to train local firefighters and police to serve our community
If it passes, Measure R would impose a district-wide, 30-year property tax of $19 per $100,000 of assessed value. It is important to note that because of Proposition 13, assessed value is often much less than market value. Property owners that purchased years ago may have an assessed value of, say, $300,000 but a market value of $850,000 – in this case, those property owners would be looking at a $57/year increase in property taxes. If, however, you paid $1,000,000 for a home last year in the district, the assessed value will be roughly the same – meaning you’d be paying an additional $190/year in taxes in that case.
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The Board of Trustees is optimistic that the 2020 Measure R will be successful when 2016 Measure Q failed. The 2016 effort was not well planned, whereas boosters of the 2020 measure say the plan for how the money will be spent has been very carefully considered to closely align with the needs of the student body and the community.
Cabrillo College has put together a dedicated Yes on R web site, and has additional information on the bond measure on their main site.
In the most recent episode of the Bay to Bay Podcast, host Seb Frey discusses what’s going on at Cabrillo College, and spends about half the episode discussing the ins and outs, whys and wherefores of the 2020 Bond Measure R. You can listen to that below:
- Good Times Article on 2020 Bond Measure
- Santa Cruz Sentinel on 2020 Bond Measure R
- 2016 Cabrillo Bond Measure Q Fails
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