Voters OK $374 million in bonds for Portland Community College.
Portland Community College, which has almost 87,000 students, asked voters for $374 million at a time when the economy is slumping and a bond measure from 2000 still has not been paid off.
College leaders said they must prepare for the growing demands for technical and professional education as more people migrate to the region.
The bonds will pay to renovate aging buildings, update technology and expand instructional space.
"I'm very pleased that in these tough economic times people were willing to invest in PCC," said Preston Pulliams, the college president.
Pulliams can mostly thank voters in Multnomah County.
Most voters in Washington and Columbia counties rejected the measure, but they were outnumbered as results from Multnomah County were counted.
Voters in Clackamas and Yamhill counties also approved the measure.
Pulliams said the college will move quickly to complete plans and start the work. He hopes it's done within five years.
The college, however, will wait to sell the bonds until the economy stabilizes and the bond market improves, said Dana Haynes, a college spokesman.
The money from the bond sales will be used to build more classrooms for high-demand programs here, including nursing, welding and education.
It will also pay to expand space for libraries, child care and other student services and to renovate buildings.
The college cannot hire more people with the bond money, but additional students could generate more state funding and tuition to expand programs.
An estimated 24,000 more students are expected by 2012, as the Portland metro area population grows and as more people turn to community colleges for education and job training.
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|Title Annotation:||money tree|
|Publication:||Community College Week|
|Date:||Dec 1, 2008|
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