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University News

Cal State Fullerton Has $50 Million Riding on Proposition 55


February 24, 2004 :: No. 161

Among the bond measures on the statewide March 2 ballot is one that ’s slated to bring more than $50 million to Cal State Fullerton.

Proposition 55, the Kindergarten-University Education Facilities Bond Act of 2004, includes funding for two major campus projects — $47.4 million to construct a College of Business and Economics building, plus $3.5 million to furnish and equip a new Performing Arts Center, currently under construction.

If the bond is approved by voters, the overall economic impact for Orange County would be significant, according to Anil Puri, dean of the university’s College of Business and Economics and co-director of the Institute for Economic and Environmental Studies. His projections indicate that the bond would generate $1.6 billion in economic activity for Orange County, creating 11,000 new jobs and generating $574 million in wages.

These projections are based upon the hundreds of construction and renovation projects that would be launched countywide, if the bond passes. Most of the Proposition 55 bond money is earmarked for K-12 projects, including $973 million to repair and enhance schools.

College of Business and Economics
At Cal State Fullerton, the College of Business and Economics is the largest in the state, with nearly 1,500 graduate and undergraduate majors receiving degrees each year. A building for the college, which is currently housed in various locations on campus, would have dedicated space for centers of learning, state-of-the-art classrooms, interactive technology, faculty offices and multimedia lecture halls.

“The new building will help us provide world-class education for the future employees and entrepreneurs of Orange County, as well as the surrounding communities,” said Puri. “Our nationally accredited college needs a new building to accommodate the growing number of qualified students seeking higher education.”

“The new building will help us provide world-class education for the future employees and entrepreneurs of Orange County, as well as the surrounding communities.”
– Anil Puri, Dean of College of Business and Economics

Performing Arts Center
For the university’s new Performing Arts Center, the bond measure will provide funds for the purchase of stage lighting and audio systems, computer and specialized equipment, dance studio sound and video systems, as well as other needed equipment.

In total, Proposition 55 would provide $12.3 billion for the state’s educational systems in 2004-05 and 2005-06, including $9.9 billion for K-12, $920 million for the California Community Colleges, and $690 million each for the University of California and the California State University. Throughout the state, classrooms in elementary and high schools, community colleges and universities would be built, renovated and repaired.

The measure, which requires a simple majority to pass, would authorize the sale of statewide general obligation bonds to fund repairs and new construction of classrooms and laboratories, earthquake retrofits and technology upgrades. Repayment of the bonds is guaranteed by the state of California and would be completed over 30 years.

Various business, civic and education groups support Proposition 55, including the Orange County Business Council, the Fullerton Chamber of Commerce, Brea Chamber of Commerce and California Taxpayers Association, along with the California State PTA and California Teachers Association.

Although there is no organized campaign against Proposition 55, opponents have filed statements against the measure with the Office of the Secretary of State. Opponents recognize the need to fund education projects but argue that indebtedness is not the right way to fund classroom construction.
Additional information is available on the website of the Office of the California Secretary of State at www.SS.CA.gov.

Media Contact: Valerie Orleans, Public Affairs, 657-278-4540 or vorleans@fullerton.edu

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