Campus Library Stands to Gain $4 Million from Prop. 55
Funds will go to a new building, automated retrieval system
February 12, 2004 12:52 PM
Proposition 55, a $12.3 billion bond measure that affects the improvement and renovation of public education facilities throughout California, is on the ballot for March 2.
If passed, Prop. 55 will grant the California State University system $690 million to fund the construction of new buildings and classrooms, on top of improving technology resources. SF State will receive $4 million of the amount to assist in the renovation and re-design of the school's library.
Public schools and universities are in serious need for repair and construction, according to Clara Potes-Fellow, spokesperson for the CSU system. These funds will “provide facilities necessary to improve the quality of education,” she said.
Prop. 55 is the second part of a statewide bond package proposed by former Gov. Gray Davis. Proposition 47, the first part of the package, passed in November 2002 with a 59 percent voter approval, providing over $13 billion to state schools.
According to Leroy Morishita, vice president of administration and finance at SF State, Prop. 47 provided the university with $89 million to go toward library construction.
According to the CSU Web site, the schools will be held to strict accountability in determining how the money will be spent. The funds can only be used for school renovation and construction and cannot be spent on salaries or unnecessary administrative expenses.
With the bond money, SF State will be adding a new building to the J. Paul Leonard library that will provide an automated retrieval system for books. Also, the library will be completely remodeled from the inside out, according to Morishita.
If Prop. 55 does not pass “the construction of many buildings will be behind, all campuses will be behind schedule,” said to Potes-Fellow, adding that failure to renovatie buildings -- some of them over 28 years old -- is detrimental to the quality of education at state schools.
Potes-Fellow said there are no guarantees when California state schools will be able to put another bond measure on the ballot, leaving many construction projects up in the air.
Those who oppose Prop. 55, such as Sen. Rico Oller, R.-Granite Bay, point out that a large portion of the bond money favors the Los Angeles school districts, ignoring the needs of Northern California public schools and universities.
San Francisco County needs an estimated $99 million in order to repair elementary through college level campuses, according to figures provided by Jacob Roper of the "Yes on 55" campaign. Los Angeles County, the figures showed, requires an estimated $3 billion for repairs.
“There is so much more population growth in southern Californa,” said Morishita. They have the biggest part of the bond, so it does, in a way 'favor’ them because that’s where the growth is. But there is a great deal of work that needs to be done in all the schools and colleges in California."
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