It has been 14 years since voters approved a bond for Hartnell College.
“There’s still a need for some additional facilities and there’s a need to renovate and modernize some old buildings on the old campus. They’re voting to tax themselves to ensure that we have excellent access to education. It’s $19.85 per every $100,000 of assessed value. That will generate $167 million dollars,” said Lawallen.
Money that would be used to renovate aging facilities, it would fund construction for a nursing center on the main campus and also extend services beyond Salinas.
“Transportation is still a big issue in our district. It doesn’t matter how many buildings we build in Salinas if people can’t get to them. So we have plans to build an education center in Soledad and Castroville,” said Lewallen.
But it’s that part of the plan that the Salinas Taxpayers Association does not agree with, which is why they’re opposed to the measure.
“The concept of spreading the money out throughout the county is not the best way for Hartnell to move forward on a bond measure,” said Salinas Taxpayers Association President Kevin Dayton.
The Hartnell district stretches about 100 miles from Castroville to Bradley.
“We have students that ride the bus four hours each day just to get here. We have to stop that. Just think about what they could do with that time if they weren’t spending it on a bus,” said Lewallen.