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Rio Hondo College earns praise for financial management

WHITTIER – Río Hondo College’s Citizens’ Oversight Committee commended the college’s staff and leadership on July 8 for management of Measure A tax dollars, which have been used to transform the campus into a modern academic facility over the last 16 years.

In its 2018-19 annual report to the Board of Trustees, the Committee said the College met all fiduciary responsibilities in managing funding provided by the community in 2004 as part of a $245 million bond measure.

“The support and generosity of local citizens should be applauded,” Committee Chairwoman Dr. Monica Sanchez said. “Programs like this will ensure Río Hondo College remains a premier institution of higher education in our region for generations of students and families. I want to thank members of the committee for their dedicated service.”

The college, which had $24.4 million in Measure A assets as of June 30, 2019, has completed a slew of projects, including improved facilities for police, fire and nursing, new Student Union and Student Services buildings, a modern Learning Resource Center and Applied Technology building, regional education centers in Pico Rivera, El Monte and South Whittier, critical campus information technology upgrades, an expanded bookstore and print shop, new pedestrian bridge and walkways, and a new Physical Education complex.

“Over the last 16 years, a collection of campus projects has transformed our College and changed the lives of the students in the communities we serve,” Superintendent/President Dr. Arturo Reyes said. “District voters gave their support to Río Hondo College in 2004 to create a campus that would provide students with the best possible facilities to realize their goals. Today, as we near completion of the projects envisioned in that plan, we have much to celebrate.”

The college is currently completing a $36 million seismic upgrade of its landmark L Tower – the tallest structure on campus. The project will be finished in fall, allowing the College to launch into its $10.1 million, phase 2 project to improve the facility for the return to academic use.

Other planned projects include a $37 million renovation of the Wray Theater and Music Building, construction of the $8 million Río Plaza Transportation Center and development of a $26 million, 38,000-square-foot Fine Arts Complex.

“Despite tremendous support for Measure A, numerous district needs remain to be addressed. We continue to be challenged with limited parking for our students, the need for safe walkways for our students, critical classroom upgrades, modernization of instructional equipment, state mandated energy saving measures, and mitigating emergency and safety concerns,” Reyes said.

Oversight Committee members include Josefina E. Canchola, Leonel Barrera, Jr., Carolina Jauregui, Yasmin Graciela Ferrada, Alicia Marie Lopez, Jaime Valencia Lopez, Margie Rodriguez and Alejandro Robles.

“I would like to thank the members of our Citizens’ Oversight Committee for their dedication to Río Hondo College. Your service continues to ensure the greatest level of transparency and accountability. Together, we are making a difference in the lives and futures for so many students, families and future generations,” Reyes said.

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