California Governor Gavin Newsom signed his first state budget which includes $2.5 million for San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC). The state funding will help the campus reconstruct a 55-year-old job training center where students learn automotive, aeronautical, welding, electrical, and air conditioning and heating technologies. The $2.5 million in the 2019–20 state budget is the first of a multi-year allocation that will total $35 million in state matching funds for the campus to build a new facility.
“This is a victory for our students and our community who deserve affordable access to 21st-century career education to enter the workforce,” said Bruce Baron, Chancellor of the San Bernardino Community College District.
Baron credits the leadership of Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) and Assemblymember Eloise Gomez Reyes (D-San Bernardino), an SBVC alumna, for elevating this project as a state budget priority.
“A new cutting edge job training facility will elevate career technical education training in the Inland Empire and create pathways to the highly skilled, good paying jobs that our communities deserve,” said Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino). “I am proud to partner with Assemblymember Reyes and SBVC to bring good jobs and quality public education to the Inland Empire.”
Assemblymember Reyes said, “This $2.5 million is proof that California has a renewed commitment to the trades. Providing a state-of-the-art training center in San Bernardino County is a step in the right direction and proof that our government is reinvesting our constituent’s hard-earned tax dollars into projects that improve their access to training and quality of life.”
Initially constructed in 1964, the Applied Technology Building is one of the oldest buildings at SBVC. With structural elements past their useful life expectancy, the building is no longer fit for anticipated student growth.
“Together with our lawmakers, students, faculty, staff and community partners, we will now start building a larger state-of-the-art job training hub for everyone in the Inland Empire,” said SBVC President Diana Z. Rodriguez.
SBCCD officials expect construction to begin in Spring 2021.
More major facility improvements are on the horizon across the San Bernardino Community College District, which includes SBVC and Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa. In 2018, local voters approved Measure CC, a $470 million bond measure to repair and modernize classrooms, labs, veterans centers, and increase student safety.