Voters Can Invest in Higher Education

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In the future, solar photovoltaic arrays could supply enough power on the SFCC campus to allow hundreds of thousands of dollars to be invested in the classroom instead of the electric bill.   

Properly renovated, a 2,500 sq. foot basement room with cinder block walls and a dirt floor could become a performance space, launching students’ dreams of stardom.   

Computers could be brought up to date so that graduates’ resumes reflect skills in the latest technology.   

Parking lots could be modernized, helping motorists avoid gridlock and minimizing the risk of fender-benders.   

But perhaps the most noticeable change as a result of the college’s August 3 bond will come as students leave the stage each year at commencement.  A new pathway to a bachelor’s or master’s degree will await them at the Higher Education Center, where SFCC and state universities will join forces to deliver higher education options in the Capital City.  The facility is envisioned as a kind of higher education cooperative where students will be able to smoothly transfer credits from SFCC into a bachelor’s or master’s program offered on-site by several state-supported universities. 

The projects in this year’s bond issue add up to $35 million, but the improvements will not cost taxpayers additional money.  In fact, voters can make the investments listed above while also experiencing a slight decrease in the local tax rate set aside for the college.  This is because interest rates for bonds are at an all-time low, and SFCC has managed its debt in such a way that older, higher-rate bonds are being paid off, making room for the lower-rate funding.   

For instance, a homeowner whose property is valued at $300,000 pays about $104 annually to support the college.  With passage of the bond issue, that same homeowner will pay about $101 per year, or $8.42 monthly. President Sheila Ortego said she hopes voters will turn out on August 3 to support the college.  

“SFCC is at a critical moment in time in terms of meeting student, community and workforce needs.  Higher education is the key to our community’s economic vitality, and the various campus maintenance and improvement projects in the bond package help ensure a safe, high-quality learning environment for students.  I hope voters will carefully review the bond information, and then take the time to go to the polls on August 3.”

For complete information on the bond issue, including a list projects, endorsements, public events and more, visit


Jennifer Marshall