Mt. San Jacinto College has received funding from the California state budget for two high-priority science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) building projects for its San Jacinto and Menifee Valley campuses.
The funding comes from Prop. 51, which California voters approved in November 2016 to authorize the state to sell $2 billion in general obligation bonds for community college projects.
On the San Jacinto Campus, a $43.9 million, 36,922-square-foot STEM building will include science labs and lecture rooms, general classrooms, math and general studies labs and faculty offices. The Menifee Valley Campus will be able to add a $52 million, 41,865-square-foot state-of-the-art STEM building featuring laboratory and multi-use, computer-based instructional areas. The ability to provide distance learning will also be designed into all of the multi-use instructional spaces
The campus’ growing biology, physical science and math programs are currently not centralized due to space constraints and are located in several buildings across the campuses. In addition to providing centralized buildings, the project will provide the math department a permanent place for instruction. MSJC’s projects both earned the California Community College Chancellor’s Office approval and were given high priority.
“We’re extremely thankful to the Chancellor’s Office, the state Legislature, and Gov. Gavin Newsom for recognizing our district’s needs to provide our students with state-of-the-art infrastructure and equipment to prepare them for in-demand STEM jobs,” said Dr. Roger Schultz, Superintendent/President of the Mt. San Jacinto Community College District. “These buildings have been in our plans for several years and this state funding will help us finally bring them to fruition for the communities we serve.”
In November 2014, the voters approved the Measure AA, MSJC’s $295 million general obligation bond measure, to fund facilities projects to train local residents for jobs, prepare students for four-year colleges and accommodate increasing student enrollment. Half of the cost of the STEM projects will be paid for out of Measure AA funds. The remainder will be funded from Prop. 51, approved by voters in November 2016 authorizing the state to sell $2 billion in general obligation bonds for community college projects. The 2019-2020 state budget approved $535.3 million from Prop. 51 to support 59 community college projects.
“This is a true milestone for Mt. San Jacinto College,” said Beth Gomez, Vice President of Business Services. “Dr. Schultz and our team at the college worked hard over the years with legislators to secure Prop. 51 funding. We’ve been anxious to start these projects since Measure AA passed. We’re extremely excited to finally get shovels in the ground for the state-of-the-art buildings our students need.”
Students could begin attending courses in the San Jacinto Campus Science and Technology Building as early as late 2023 and the Menifee Valley Campus Math and Science Building in 2024.
MSJC, one of California’s fastest-growing community colleges, serves more than 27,000 students annually across 1,700 square miles in Riverside County.