The Clatsop Community College Board voted Tuesday to fast-track $2,275,000 in repairs to campus buildings, following Gov. Ted Kulongoski's approval of the "Go Oregon" state stimulus plan.

The governor signed Senate Bill 338 into law last week, providing $175 million in bond funds for repairs to schools, colleges and infrastructure across the state - projects that could inject local economies with dollars and jobs much faster than anticipated federal stimulus funds.

The college will add $400,000 of its own non-operating funds to the $1.875 million awarded to the college.

"The governor felt it was important to pass a bill with projects that could break ground immediately," said Anna Richter Taylor, the governor's spokeswoman, earlier Tuesday. The impact that the college has on the health of the community - as both employer and educator - was a big motivator for the governor, she said.

"He was really pleased to see work like this happen at Clatsop Community College. It is both getting people to work and investing in the educational system in our local economies."

At CCC, the funds will go to long-delayed maintenance projects that are not covered in the $27 million Jerome Campus Redevelopment project under way. College President Greg Hamann was thrilled to hear that new roofs, more efficient lighting, and other upgrades are now to be tackled in the very near future.

"These are things the college has been talking about doing since before I got here," said Hamann, who was hired by the college over six years ago. "When we call these deferred maintenance, these were really deferred."

Lindi Overton, vice president of college services , said starting the bidding process quickly was imperative. The board declared a state of emergency so that the normal, more time-consuming process of choosing a contractor could be sidestepped.

"I expect that by the end of February we'll be taking bids," Overton said. "We've got to move very quickly on this."

Meetings will start next week, she said, and architects and engineers will determine exactly what work is to be done. Howard Clarke, former maintenance director for the Astoria School District, has been chosen to manage the project, Overton said.

State Rep. Brad Witt, D-Clatskanie, said earlier Tuesday he was glad to see some positive progress amidst all the doom and gloom of state budget shortfalls and the national economy.

"As bad as our economy is right now, these opportunities are equally great. I'm exceedingly pleased that Clatsop Community College is high on the list for these infrastructure upgrades," Witt said.

Specific projects include:

? Visual Arts Building, $300,000 in repairs; new roof, lighting fixtures and controls, replace HVAC ventilation system.

? Badollet Library, $400,000 in repairs; new roof, lighting fixtures and controls, replace boiler and HVAC ventilation system.

? MERTS I Building (Maritime Program), $250,000 in repairs; new roof and window replacement.

? Alder Hall, $150,000 in repairs; new roof.

? Patriot Hall, $400,000 in repairs; new roof, replace damaged gymnasium floor.

? Main Campus Electrical and Data, $350,000 in repairs; infrastructure overhaul

? Performing Arts Center, $150,000 in repairs; exterior sealing and painting.

Forerunner Teaching Vessel, $200,000 in repairs; replace interior, mechanical and electrical systems, rebuild engine and generator, update sanitary system, replace hull plating.

Rebuild floating dock for Forerunner, $25,000.

? Josie Pepper Building, $50,000 in repairs; stabilize second floor, replace windows, improve access.

Overton said an effort would be made to give the contracts to local companies, but added that in the past there haven't always been contractors capable of filling the specifications of particular jobs.

In other business, the board discussed a possible tuition increase of $7 per credit for next year, and approved three new academic programs: a two-year automotive technology degree, a historic restoration and preservation program, and a retail management certificate.


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