Board approves $35 million for modernization projects

by Elizabeth Sears 0

Dr. Dianne Van Hook talking to the Board of Trustees about the events happening at College of the Canyons.

The Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees met Wednesday at the College of the Canyons Canyon Country Campus to discuss items impacting the community college. The most significant measure that the board approved was the $35 million in Measure M bonds that will be used for modernization and construction projects at both COC campuses.

The board also talked about many events and projects that are happening at the college. COC Vice President/Human Resources Diane Fiero talked about the Women’s Conference which is being held on March 17th in the University Center. The theme of the conference is transition and will have a resume lab, interviewing skills, financial planning, and women’s health workshops.

COC Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook explained some of the different projects that the college is currently working on which include the Culinary Arts Campaign. She stated that the campaign raising funding for  the Culinary Arts facility is on track.

The COC Foundation has accomplished 62 percent of it’s goal and has secured donations for all but three of the Culinary Arts classrooms. The foundation is still  fundrasing for the building and are holding some culinary events in the Santa Clarita Valley.The current students in the Culinary Arts department will be present at these events.

This past Wednesday, the Chancellor’s Cabaret Series debuted in the lobby of the University Center. The COC jazz chior is pairing up with the Culinary Arts students to host this event where the choir sang from the balcony just above the main lobby

Dr. Dianne Van Hook gave an update on the library expansion project which will be completed in early June.

She also told the board that the Business Incubator Program was approved by the City of Santa Clarita on March 13th. The Business Incubator Program will be in the old Newhall Public Library.  College of the Canyons will be partnering up with the new program since COC only has a virtual business incubator.

Dr. Dianne Van Hook also gave an update on the Civil Rights Center which will most likely happen. The school has been working on this for over a year now.  The purpose of the Civil Rights Center (CRC) is to provide students with hands-on training on how to investigate and process work and housing discrimination claims.

The College of the Canyons Faculty Association President Chris Blakey gave an update on the COCFA and their meeting. He shared with the board that COCFA is  going to continue negotiations, but there is slow progress being made. He mentioned that the board does not understand how the COCFA functions because they reorganized the association three years ago.

“About three years ago, we reorganized how the COCFA is set up and now we have what is a representative council while allows representation by faculty members of all academic divisions and they are elected to their offices,” Blakey said.

Blakey also mentioned that this is a much better set up than before and that the COCFA and the Board of Trustees need to have a better way of communication.

Student  trustee Nick Onyshko talked about the events that the Associated Student Government has been involved in. The ASG is looking forward to the joint meeting between the Associated Student Government and Board of Trustees on March 28th.

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