Board of Trustees calls for bond referendum
08.18.2015 | By Amanda Fenwick
PASADENA, Texas — In an effort to continue to meet the demand of the region’s workforce, and to support students as they transition to four-year colleges and universities or directly enter the workforce, the San Jacinto College Board of Trustees unanimously voted to call for a bond referendum for the Nov. 2015 election.
Voters within the San Jacinto College District will vote on the issuance of $425 million in general obligation bonds needed to prepare students to live and work in the community. Proposed projects include state-of-the-art facilities to train students and workers in the petrochemical, energy, engineering, computers, and technology sectors; a new welcome center providing a “one-stop shop” for student support services such as admission, financial aid, and counseling; new culinary and cosmetology facilities; and additional classroom facilities across the district. Nine buildings will be renovated – most of which are more than 30 years old – which will provide updated space for early college high school and dual credit programs, as well as more relevant, efficient, and technically updated instructional space for employees and students. Additionally, the funding will provide for security, access, and safety upgrades throughout all facilities and significant infrastructure upgrades and replacements for systems at the end of their useful life.
“San Jacinto College brings great value to our region,” said Board Chairman Dan Mims. “This bond referendum will allow us to continue to be a leader in the Gulf Coast region. The area is experiencing growth and expansion, as well as a retiring workforce, so it is imperative that we continue to meet the changing needs of our industry partners, while also helping students realize their earnings and career potential by completing their certificate or associate degree.”
Impact on taxpayers in the San Jacinto College District is expected to be minimal. The maximum increase in taxes for debt service when all the bonds are issued will not exceed 3 cents per $100 of valuation. Residents that own a home with an appraised value of $100,000 will see their taxes increase a maximum of approximately $28.50 per year, or $2.38 per month. Most senior citizens of age 65 or older will see no increase in their taxes; however, those seniors over 65 who own a house valued for taxes above $132,500 will see a nominal increase.
“We are committed to keeping taxes low for our residents,” noted San Jacinto College Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer. “Our goal is to help our students succeed by completing what they start. We want them to gain the skills they need to enter the workforce or transfer to a four-year college or university to continue their education, and we know that keeping taxes low and offering an affordable tuition rate are keys to the success of our students and our community.”
Early voting for the Nov. 2015 election runs Monday, Oct. 19 through Friday, Oct. 30. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3.
For more information about the San Jacinto College 2015 Bond proposal, including a complete list of proposed projects by campus, visit sanjac.edu/bond. You can also join in and follow the conversation online with the hashtag #SanJacTomorrow.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.