Why was a bond needed?
The answer, first and foremost, was to allow Chabot College and Las Positas College to continue to deliver affordable, quality higher education opportunities to residents of the East Bay.
Chabot College currently serves more than 15,000 students at a campus that is more than 40 years old. While most of its buildings appear, at first glance, to be in good condition, they are in desperate need of repair and modernization in order to meet current student needs and provide for increased enrollment in the future.
Las Positas College already serves more than 8,500 students on a campus originally built as a college center. Many of its buildings are more than 25 years old. With enrollment projected to top 15,000 students in just a few years, the college needs to “build out” its campus to include classroom buildings, labs, a child development center, and physical education facilities.
Recent and rapid changes in technology have made it difficult for the District's power and data systems to support innovations in instruction. These same outdated systems also make it difficult to implement technological improvements in student services such as admissions and financial aid. The electrical system, while well maintained, is also more than 40 years old and nearing the end of its useful life.
The roofs as well as the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems at both colleges are in need of repair. The bond allows for the installation of more energy-efficient materials and equipment, resulting in cost savings to the District in ongoing operations and maintenance costs while at the same time reducing the colleges' burden on the state's power grid.
With the California State University and the University of California raising tuition and reducing their admission of transfer students, more students will choose to attend Chabot College and Las Positas College, and they will stay longer before transferring. While this is a tremendous opportunity for community colleges, it further increases enrollment even beyond that which is projected over the next few years.
The residents of the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District make heavy use of their community colleges, including the Chabot College Performing Arts Center, the fitness facilities, as well as the general education and vocational training facilities. Our residents deserve attractive, well maintained, state-of-the-art facilities that serve as cultural centers, and centers for vocational training and economic development. They should be a source of pride to our communities.
The overriding goals of this program's repair, modernization and expansion effort are to expand the existing college campuses as needed to serve the projected enrollment and to modernize them to a “like new” condition for another 40 years of service to students and the community as a whole.