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AVC looks at timeline for Palmdale campus

State funding for a community college campus in Palmdale could be available by mid-2013 under a timeline unveiled during a recent public forum held on the Antelope Valley College campus in Lancaster.

Walt Reno, a facility specialist with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office in Sacramento, told college officials a number of steps remain before the Palmdale campus can become a reality on a 60-acre parcel on 25th Street East, south of Avenue S.

There are currently seven other sites statewide that are ahead of the Palmdale project. However, there is a possibility the Palmdale site could be “grandfathered” in to a higher priority by transferring approval of a previously approved site in Palmdale near Barrel Springs Road.

The Barrel Springs Road property was offered free to the college in 1993, but a number of hurdles and delays caused the college to purchase the land at 25th Street East.

Reno is awaiting word from the California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC) as to whether an administrative realignment would be allowed.

The scenario Reno outlined assumed the existing Palmdale facility on Palmdale Boulevard would sustain 500 full-time equivalent students (FTES) needed to qualify for center status.

Reno stressed there are a number of variables to the timeline – any one of which could further delay efforts toward a Palmdale campus. The timeline presented by Reno calls for:

  • Community college Board of Governors (BOG) approves the Palmdale site before June 30, 2010.
  • CPEC approves the site before June 30, 2010.
  • AVC submits its initial campus project proposal by July 1, 2010.
  • BOG approves the project proposal by Oct. 15, 2010.
  • AVC submits its final project proposal by July 1, 2011.
  • BOG approves the scope of the final project proposal by Nov. 15, 2011.
  • BOG approves spending plan March 12, 2012.
  • BOG sends a funding request to the state Department of Finance by April 15, 2012.
  • California voters approve state bonds in November 2012 election.
  • Department of Finance supports project before Jan. 15, 2013.
  • Legislative Analyst Office, Legislature and governor support the project before June 30, 2013.
  • Funding starts when the 2013-14 budget is signed.

“It’s feasible,” Reno said of the timeline.

Out of 160 to 240 capital outlay projects that come to the Chancellor’s Office each year, an average of only 80 community college projects a year are sent forward from the Chancellor’s Office for state approval.

The state provides money for instructional areas, student services and administration. There are certain facilities, however, the state will not pay for including parking, food services, bookstores, break rooms, recreational areas, intercollegiate athletics and non-instructional areas, according to Reno.

Once a project gets to the Legislative Analyst Office, there is a strong possibility it will be funded, according to Reno. He said only one community college project in the last five years has failed to make it past the Legislative Analyst.

Reno also discussed the scoring system used to determine funding priorities for building projects on community college campuses. Projects with more points are more likely to be funded with the limited amount of state money available.

The average state contribution to community college building projects is 25 percent, though some projects, like the college’s new planned Student Services Building has already qualified for 100 percent state funding.

California will need to invest $35 billion over the next 10 years to keep up with building needs within the California Community Colleges, the largest higher education system in the world, according to Reno.

Related Documents

Palmdale Briefing Presentation