Construction spending is on hold in the Los Angeles Community College District while officials try to figure out how to pay for maintenance on new buildings. The district is using a $5.7 billion bond issue to expand its space by 60 percent, reports the Los Angeles Times. But state budget cuts — expected to get even worse in mid-year — have forced the district to cut 500 classes and turn students away because of state budget cuts.
The stalled buildings include such projects as a $38-million fashion and fine arts building at Los Angeles Trade Technical College and a $7.4-million fitness center and sports field at West Los Angeles College, according to a district website.
Meanwhile, the district attorney investigating the district’s management of construction projects.
The Times reported in February that the district had squandered tens of millions of dollars on design and preliminary construction of projects that officials ultimately decided to scrap. At West Los Angeles College, officials spent $39 million on four major buildings, then discovered they didn’t have enough money to complete them; most — and possibly all — of the funds were wasted.
Don Gauthier, president of the Faculty Senate at Los Angeles Valley College, said colleges will have to choose between faculty salaries and building maintenance.