On the May 19, 2020 ballot, the Lane Community College Board will ask voters in its service area to consider a bond. If approved, the $121.5 million measure would fund safety and security updates, seismic retrofitting, expand Health Professions and Workforce Training Programs, and modernize classroom technology throughout the district.
In an effort to identify structural and programmatic needs and address deferred maintenance projects, the college recently completed a facilities master plan. This multi-year effort involved the LCC Board, campus community, and members from local businesses to help determine how to address safety and security on campus as well as update learning spaces. To help offset the cost of items identified in the plan, Lane’s Board decided to refer the bond measure to voters. If approved, bond dollars would be used to address priorities within the master plan:
Safety, security, and accessibility
LCC would use bond dollars to address safety projects identified in the facilities plan. Some LCC buildings are more than 50 years old and are seismically and structurally not up to code.
Workforce retraining and career technical education
LCC offers education, training, partnerships and local opportunities for Career Technical Education (CTE) and workforce retraining. Bond dollars would provide updated learning spaces and technology for several programs, including Advanced Technology and Cybersecurity. In addition, the college would be able to utilize a matching $8 million state grant to construct a new building to allow for expansion of Health Professions programs and Lane’s Dental Clinic.
A local and affordable education
Currently, LCC uses general fund dollars to make facility improvements. If approved by voters, the bond funds would be used for facility improvements, allowing remaining resources to be invested in education efforts. A voter-approved bond measure would help the school avoid or delay increasing the cost of tuition.
If passed, LCC’s bond measure is estimated to increase property taxes $0.12 per $1,000 of assessed value, to a rate of $0.34 per $1,000 of assessed value for Lane Community College bond debt. Property taxes would increase by about $3.00 a month or $36 a year for a property assessed at $300,000.
If the bond does not pass, the safety, infrastructure enhancement and modernization projects outlined above could not be completed. The property tax increase would not occur. LCC would not receive the proposed bond funds nor the $8 million in committed state funds. Repairs, maintenance, and technology upgrades would be budgeted through the general fund, resulting in higher tuition rates for students.