Staff Editorial: Yes on Measure AA

Measure AA provides a $295 million bond for renovation and improvement projects at Santa Monica College, and will serve as a required 50 percent or more local match to secure state funding. The measure will fund stage three of the SMC facilities renovation master plan, approved in 1998. The goals of the master plan are to reduce density on the main campus, incorporate sustainability practices, and incorporate current modernization planning.

Measure AA does not simply go towards luxurious perks to the campus. It will fund critical projects, such as the construction of a new math complex, which currently operates in a temporary facility after the Northridge earthquake. In addition, it will fund a new science wing in order to centralize earth, life and physical science programs in a single location, with expanded space and more laboratory classrooms. The new building will include an observatory and a replacement planetarium for students and the community.

The bond will also provide for a replacement Health and Fitness building on the main campus. The current facility, built in the 1950s, is in poor condition, and lacks fire safety features. The Corsair stadium, which does not meet current seismic standards, will also be replaced under the measure. For the satellite campuses, the project proposes a new career opportunity and career advancement instructional and job-training building on Bundy campus. The building will house SMC's workforce development program, regarded as one of the most successful in the state. At the Academy campus, there is a proposed Media and Technology complex. The broadcast, TV, video, electronic print and the KCRW station would be relocated to the new complex from their current location in on the main campus in the 1950's buildings that cannot support modern infrastructure. In addition the measure will fund a new bus pull-out on Pico, and community projects off-campus, such a new college-level library at Malibu High School that would be a great asset also to SMC students who live in that area. It is a shame that SMC, a number one college in transfers to UCLA, has to get by with inadequate facilities, some of which lack modern safety features, not to mention proper ventilation. We need the funds supplied by Measure AA to provide suitable environment for the excellent academic programs, as well as unique community programs (such as high school college credit program and the Emeritus college program) that make SMC an outstanding school. The measure will also allocate funds to modernize energy systems and achieve energy and resource efficiency, needed to make this campus a leader in sustainability. Measure AA is widely supported by Santa Monica and Malibu communities, including members of Santa Monica and Malibu City Council and SMC Board of Trustees. We strongly encourage our readers to lend their support to Measure AA by voting yes in the November election. Staff Editorial: Yes on Measure AA