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In The News

College of Marin Board Approves $265 Million Bond

The College of Marin board voted unanimously this week to put a $265 million bond on the June ballot, vowing to give the college’s Indian Valley campus in Novato a fair share of the funds.

The two-year college this fall finished renovations and new buildings paid for by a $249.5 million bond approved in 2004. However, an in-depth report said that didn’t cover all the work necessary, and the board voted in its meeting at the Kentfield campus Tuesday to float another bond.

“We need to continue to preserve these assets (buildings) and the only way to do it is through a bond,” Trustee Stuart Tanenberg said.

Before the vote was taken, Trustee Brady Bevis said to fellow board members, “I am urging you all to please support this bond measure that will enable us to do more than just meet a reactive need.” The college’s president, David Wain Coon, gave a presentation explaining the rationale behind the bond.

Citing an in-depth assessment of the college’s buildings, “there is much more that needs to be accomplished,” in fixing up the campus, Wain Coon said. “We still have facilities over 40 years old. One Kentfield building is 80 years old,” Wain Coon said.

High priorities on the repair list include the school’s learning resource center and student services building, both of which are 45 years old. Fusselman Hall, built in 1936, is another high priority. Expanding the workforce training facilities at the college’s Indian Valley campus is also high on the list, though no decisions have been made.

Marin homeowners are already paying $21 per $100,000 of assessed property value on the 2004 bond. If the new bond passes, it would cost homeowners about $17 per $100,000 of assessed value. It is a 30-year bond, as is the previous bond.

More than 100 people showed up for the standing-room-only meeting. Some spoke in support of Indian Valley’s heavily used but badly deteriorating pool.

No one spoke against the bond, while two librarians asked for a new library and members of the Friends of Indian Valley asked that funds be designated in the bond for that campus.

“I applaud you for going out for a bond,” said Shelly Scott, co-chair of the Friends of Indian Valley College, a citizen group that hopes to bring attention to the campus and its offerings.

“Last year (college president) David Wain Coon conducted an (Indian Valley) tour,” Scott said. “We saw a lot of great facilities, great programs going on. We saw new buildings; however, we also saw that the campus needs a facelift.

“We’re looking for some sort of assurance in the language of the bond that monies, perhaps $100 million, would be allocated to (Indian Valley). We want to work with you to help IVC be all it can be,” Scott said.

While the trustees did not change the language of the bond to designate funds for Indian Valley, they told Scott and other members of her group that the campus would not be forgotten.

“I want to assure our friends from Indian Valley — speaking for myself, but I assume it’s the same for all trustees, it’s a major, major priority,” said Trustee Diana Conti. “We have a long, long list of items for Indian Valley. Novato clearly needs to have equity with Kentfield.”

Trustee Wanden Treanor said, “There is a commitment to Indian Valley.”

Bevis added, “I will never stop advocating for Indian Valley to be an important community benefit for Marin County.”

A stream of speakers advocated in favor of the pool at the Indian Valley campus.

Cokie Lepinski said, “As an end user, it is extremely frustrating not to know on a daily basis if the pool will be open. We implore you to understand how important the pool is.”

Vanae Nelson of Novato said, “Please don’t close the pool. The water aerobics class is the reason I am walking.”

In response, Bevis said, “I would like us to not wait for the bond for the pool to be fixed.

“I’ve been one of the pool’s greatest advocates. If there is anything that is not working, I know the community is not shy and will let us know,” Bevis said.

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