The most visible projects of the $326 million bond measure passed by Yosemite Community College District voters in 2004 have taken shape.
Highway 99 travelers have a clear view of the ag pavilion ($18 million) at Modesto Junior College's west campus. In its shadow nestle new barns ($2 million) and ag student housing ($3 million).
Drive up Blue Gum Avenue and the centerpiece, the community science center, rises four stories in rounds and rectangles ($70 million). Just past it sits the streamlined health and life sciences building ($25 million).
On College Avenue, the performing arts auditorium ($20 million) sweeps toward the east campus quad and at the corner of Coldwell Avenue a bright white student services building ($16 million) gleams. Founders Hall is all new inside ($12 million).
Transformation of the old science hall into the High-Tech Center ($16 million) has just begun, and the library renovation ($6 million) has challenged the studious all school year.
Winding up the hills to Columbia College, the Science & Natural Resources Building ($22 million) stands complete at that campus.
With interest costs, the total bill to property owners for the community college improvements will come to about 2½ times the bond amount, considered typical for financing costs.
Within that total, however, are some good deals and two pricey capital appreciation issues.
In 2010, the district sold a $20.9 million bond that will begin payments in 2031, costing taxpayers $107.6 million over 10 years. That's five times the amount borrowed.
At the same time, the district issued a convertible capital appreciation bond for $56.9 million, to be paid from 2032-42. Total cost: $345.3 million, six times the amount borrowed.
Spread over the multicounty area of the YCCD, however, the cost was relatively low for school bonds. Property owners paid about $29 per $100,000 valuation for 2012.
On the Net:For more on Measure E projects, visit www.yosemite.edu/bond.