Taxpayers to Save $10 Million After Hancock Refinances Bond Measure I; Trustees Award Architectural Contract for the Fine Arts Complex

Significant developments made regarding Bond Measure I

DECEMBER 1, 2017--Taxpayers will save $10.3 million over the life of Allan Hancock College’s Bond Measure I after the college successfully completed a bond refinance process. The action, which is a process similar to when people refinance their home mortgages, does not extend the term of the original bond. Rather, it reduces the overall cost to taxpayers with a lower interest rate.

“The bond refinance is great news for our neighbors who have long supported the college,” said Hancock Superintendent/President Kevin G. Walthers, Ph.D. “If you include the bond refinance completed in 2014, the college has saved taxpayers a combined $16.2 million. That money will stay in our community rather than go toward paying interest on the bonds.”

In order to complete the transaction, both Moody’s Investor Services and Standard and Poor’s reaffirmed the college’s excellent credit rating at Aa2 and AA/Stable.

Voters passed Measure I in June 2006 to fund $180 million in facility improvements and new technology at the college. Since its passage, the college has undergone a major transformation with the construction of state-of-the-art buildings. Measure I projects include the 68-acre Public Safety Training Complex in Lompoc, the Industrial Technology Complex, the Student Services building, new sports fields, and the Children’s Center addition.

The next and largest Measure I project, the Fine Arts Classroom Building, took a major step forward Thursday. The Allan Hancock College Board of Trustees unanimously voted to award the architectural contract for the project to DLR Group, an integrated design firm.

“The college and community have been planning this project for a long time. It is exciting to see the vision move one step closer to becoming a reality,” said Walthers.

The $48 million project features an 88,000 sq. ft. two-story building that will house the college’s visual arts, multimedia and applied design, photography, film and video, dance and music programs, as well as a state-of-the-art recital hall. Currently, the fine arts department is housed in five buildings spread throughout the Santa Maria campus. Many of the buildings were built in the 1960s.

“The vote represents a full-path forward. It feels almost surreal,” said John Hood, the college’s fine arts department chair. “It is rewarding to see campus and community-wide support and involvement in the process to create a complex that our students and community deserve. We want this facility to be the crown jewel of the entire community.”

A five-member review committee that included faculty, staff and administrators recommended DLR Group to the trustees from a pool of 16 submitted proposals. The committee chose four of the 16 applicants for interviews.

DLR has a history of working on numerous K-12 and higher education facilities throughout the country, including the modernization of Santa Barbara City College’s Humanities Building and Santa Monica College’s Performing Arts Campus East Wing.

“The committee feels DLR can successfully complete a project of this complexity. They have extensive fine arts and performing arts experience,” said Hood.

In June 2017, the state awarded $24 million in Proposition 51 funding for the project. The remaining half of the cost for the project will be locally financed. The project’s state-of-the-art recital hall will be funded through a $10 million gift left by Patty Boyd to support the college’s music program. Boyd, a lifelong patron of the arts and former Hancock faculty member, passed away in 2012.

The awarding of the architectural contract opens the design and construction process. The college’s use of an inclusive vetting system will continue. College administrators, fine arts faculty and staff will meet with the firm in the coming weeks to discuss more specifics about the project.

The Fine Arts Complex will be built near the middle of the Santa Maria campus, in unoccupied space between the Performing Arts Center and buildings C, K and S. The college hopes to break ground in spring 2019 with an estimated completion in summer 2021.

- AHC -

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Last Modified Oct 23, 2018