Veterans Resource Center to kick off $502.8 million bond

Morgan Park, Editor-in-Chief

Measure J, the $502.8 million bond measure passed in November to build and refurbish structures across the Kern Community College District, is making steady progress.

KCCD chancellor Tom Burke confirmed that of the bond’s funds, the divide for each school will be as follows: $415 million will go to Bakersfield College, $44 million to Porterville College, and $44 million to Cerro Coso College.

In the first round of funding targeted for the beginning of June, BC will receive just under $81 million. Burke and the district have also confirmed which project will be tackled first under Measure J.

“We have begun working with them already on the Veterans Center project,” he said.

The new Veterans Resource Center has been a project favored by Burke as well as BC president Sonya Christian and Student Government Association president Matthew Frazer to be completed early on under the bond.

“I would like to see our Veterans Resource Center be the first project completed with Measure J.  This is a critical need for the college,” said Christian back in November.

To Frazer, veterans have “done so much for our country and for our city alone that they deserve to have that first. The veterans need it, they deserve it. It’ll help hundreds of thousands of veterans, not just ones here at BC, but all over,” as stated in November.

One of the larger projects ($25 million) pitched in Measure J calls for a combined “Arvin/Lamont/Greenfield” facility to be constructed. That project, whether it will function as a satellite campus for BC or otherwise, is in the early stages as well, according to Burke.

“We have a meeting set up with city officials in Arvin to start talking about that project.”

When asked for a confirmation that the satellite campus will be happening, Burke only said, “We will be doing something with Arvin. We had always planned on doing something in that region anyways.” Totaling BC’s identified projects amounts to over $442 million, so not every project will get done, but Burke believes most of them will.

“I think a pretty good percentage of them will get done…a good amount of the projects will get done. “One of the things that happen while you’re going through this process is that inflation can erode some of the spending power of the bond.

“That happened with Measure G (the $180 million bond passed in 2002).

“Obviously, that’ll be something we’ll have to deal with because it’s a 25-30 year bond program.”