I am writing in response to Stephen Fultons letter to the editor of Sept. 29. Mr. Fulton asked 11 questions, which are answered in that order below. For more information about the college and the new campus project, I encourage readers to go to www.clatsopcc.edu.
1. Currently, the location for a new college campus is at the John Warren Field on Exchange Street in Astoria about seven blocks from the current Jerome Avenue location. The cost is projected to be $60 million.
2. The college has $7.5 million currently in its accounts to pay for a portion of the $60 million. With the $7.5 million already committed by the State of Oregon, the college has $15 million for the project.
3. With the bond proceeds from Ballot Measure 4-118 in hand, the college will request additional matching funds from the legislature, and other funds are anticipated from educational partners and private individuals.
4. The Board is asking the electors to grant to the college the authority to issue up to $24 million in bonds. There is no requirement that the bonds be issued even if approved by the voters.
5. The Board developed a set of criteria for a desirable new campus. The John Warren Field best meets those criteria. While the land in Warrenton may have been offered as "free," millions of dollars would have been spent on infrastructure such as utility lines, roads and sewers to prepare the unimproved land for building. This infrastructure already exists at the John Warren Field site.
6. The geotechnical engineering survey was prepared by GeoDesign, Inc. of Portland. Copies of this report are available in the Colleges Learning Resource Center.
7. The geotechnical report recommends that no mass grading cuts be conducted within 100 feet from the toe of the slope. In addition, the report recommends no building construction within 25 feet from the toe of the slope without conducting more detailed analysis.
8. Currently, the board is planning to use the funds from any land sales as a part of the $60 million in funds needed to build the facility. Should they not be needed for building costs, the board could recommend these funds be used for early retirement of the $24 million bond issuance.
9. The college studied the accessibility of the current campus as early as 1990 and while some improvements were made, the Board recognized they tended to be low-cost, immediate solutions to a larger problem. In January 1997 the college engaged Mahlum Architects to prepare a comprehensive study of the campus and the colleges educational mission. A subsequent 2002 Mahlum study noted several buildings as candidates for replacement rather than upgrading, notably Towler and Patriot Hall, since the cost to upgrade to current code standards exceeded the replacement cost.
10. The college is in discussion with the City of Astoria regarding use of urban renewal funds for site improvements such as sidewalks, utilities, etc., but no formal agreements have been executed.
11. The college, Astoria School District and the City of Astoria are working together to identify and develop a new athletic facility for the high school as well as transportation facilities for the district's buses.
Vice President of College Services
Clatsop Community College