Voters give CCC $90 million hug

Clackamas County voters passed a $90 million bond measure to maintain, update and build onto the Clackamas Community College’s presence in the community.

“If I were texting, I would ‘OMG,’” said Joanne Truesdell, the college president.

Founded in 1966, the college’s many facilities are out of date, run down and costing more money than they need to due to inefficiencies. The bond will build a new community center and new classrooms for in-demand fields such as engineering, nursing, manufacturing, welding, apprenticeship programs and skilled trades.

CCC Board of Education chairperson Greg Chaimov said the passage of the bond measure will result in “a whole lot better facilities for training students to get high wage jobs.”

The bond measure actually raises $111 million because of state matching grants and private donations.

The college last passed a bond in 2000 for $47 million, which paid for work on about a half dozen buildings on campus. In 2011, voters rejected a $130 million measure.

Ever since, the college has been trying to  figure out how to pass a measure.

This campaign has been visible of all over the county: billboards, ads on buses, buttons on teachers,  flyers all over school and an organized web presence. When asked what was different about this campaign, Shelly Parini, dean of college advancement, said, “We really knew we needed to go out and have some deep, meaningful conversations with the community.”

At press time the measure was passing with 52 percent of the votes in favor, and 48 percent opposed. Clackamas County residents are not expected to see an increase in taxes, as it replaces an expiring bond. For a home owner with a property value of $250,000, paying for the bond would amount to approximately $47.50 yearly.

by: Tim Young