On November 6, 2012, voters in East County approved Proposition V, the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District's $398 million bond measure. The district's Governing Board had voted unanimously to place the measure on the ballot, citing the need for expanded career training facilities, veterans’ centers to assist former and active-duty military, and updating aging classrooms, infrastructure and technology systems.
The ballot measure was approved by more than 58 percent of voters in the East County cities and communities located within the college district, which stretches from the East County cities of El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Santee to the Imperial County and Mexican borders. The measure required approval by at least 55 percent support of the votes cast.
The bond measure is the result of a two-year comprehensive needs assessment and planning process based on an Educational Master Plan that will guide the district for the next decade and beyond. Phase One of a Facilities Master Plan identifying more than $600 million in facility needs grew out of that planning process.
The facilities master plan highlighted numerous building, technology and sustainability needs at the two campuses, which enroll about 30,000 students. Grossmont College was built 50 years ago, and has 14 original buildings that are badly in need of repairs and don’t serve today’s technology requirements. Cuyamaca College opened in 1978, and many of its buildings, roads, mechanical systems and fixtures are no longer adequate to serve the campus and its students.
In addition to technology upgrades, energy-efficiency measures are needed as a way to reduce operational costs and to direct the savings to classroom instruction.
The Proposition V construction projects will continue the work that began when East County voters approved Proposition R, a $207 million bond measure, in 2002. Money from the bond, along with more than $68 million in state matching funds, was used to construct or renovate 13 major projects on the Grossmont and Cuyamaca college campuses.
Spending on both bond measures has been monitored by the district's Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee, which is responsible for ensuring that revenues from the bond measure are spent solely as promised to voters. The committee reviews and reports on district spending of taxpayer money for construction and provides a public accounting of the district's compliance with legal documents.
The 10-member committee represents business, construction, a taxpayers association, finance, the college district's foundation, senior citizens, and students at the two colleges. The Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee website provides information about the committee, agendas, and a nomination form for those interested in applying to join the committee.