District Attempts to Solve Parking Woes with Bond Measure

Story By: Cresencio Rodriguez, Editor-in-Chief

It is perhaps one of the most notorious reasons Fresno City College may be known for, parking problems.

Finding a parking spot on a campus with approximately 22,000 students but only 2,739 parking spots can be a mess.

In the spring of 2014, the State Center Community College District asked its campuses to present proposed projects for its 2012-2025 Master Plan. Parking improvements was an obvious choice for FCC and a parking structure along with renovations to current parking lots was proposed. One year later, the question of how much this project will cost and who will pay for it, is just beginning to be answered.

The sum of $2 billion shall be deposited in the 2016 Community College Capital Outlay Bond Fund, according to the proposed statewide ballot measure, Kindergarten through Community College

Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2016.

This means California community colleges like FCC will enjoy the $2 billion, which will go towards renovating and building new facilities at all community colleges in need of repair.

The bond, as a whole, would make available a total of $9 billion for statewide school improvements from kindergarten through high school as well as community colleges.

As reported last spring, a specific area for a parking structure is not yet determined, according to FCC President, Tony Cantu. However, a plausible location for a parking structure is said to be parking lot E, behind Carl’s Jr., along the train tracks.

Lucy Ruiz, interim public and legislative affairs director for State Center Community College District, said the board of trustees, at this time, has no comments about the proposed bond measure but will begin to prioritize projects as soon as the measure is included in the November 2016 ballot.

Ruiz says there has been positive support for the proposed ballot measure as of now and that, “it’s positive when voters recognize that they want [school improvements].”

A survey conducted in December 2014 on the statewide school bond measure shows strong support for such bond to go in the November 2016 ballot.

The Summary of California School Bond Measure Survey Results states that after voters heard a simulated ballot label statement for a $9 billion statewide school bond measure, 55 percent voted “definitely” or “probably” yes — support for the bond has intensified according to the survey.

The survey results show most believe the state’s K-12 public schools and community colleges are underfunded, and have a significant need for additional funds to repair deteriorating classrooms and school buildings.