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College Funding Tops List of Grants in State Budget

July 03, 1986|DENISE HAMILTON | Times Staff Writer

The 1986-87 state budget of $36.95 billion signed last week by Gov. George Deukmejian includes about $5.3 million in capital projects for Northeast Los Angeles, Glendale and La Canada Flintridge.

Several parks and colleges received funding to upgrade or enlarge facilities, although the governor vetoed a $2-million appropriation to help Glendale purchase Inter-Valley Ranch as parkland.

Glendale Community College was the biggest local winner in the state budget.

The college will receive $3.5 million for a new building to ease classroom crowding. The funding depends upon passage of a bond act for capital improvements for higher education that will appear on the November ballot and has Deukmejian's support, said Lois Wallace, assistant director for the state Department of Finance.

Lack of Classroom Space

College officials say students are being turned away in significant numbers from popular courses because of crowding. One classroom and about seven administrative offices are housed in trailers because of lack of space, officials said. The new building, first proposed in 1983, would be built between the college's auditorium and administration building, where tennis courts are now situated.

An earlier plan to fund the project from the state Capital Outlay Fund for Higher Education, which derives part of its revenue from the Tidelands Oil Fund, fell through because of plunging oil prices. The fund receives payments from oil companies that lease drilling rights in California tidelands.

Jean Larson, district business manager for Glendale Community College, said she is optimistic that voters will approve the higher education bond issue.

"We're ready to start construction, but we have to wait and see what monies are available," she said.

Los Angeles City College would gain $598,000 to renovate its chemistry building. Although $68,000 of that amount was approved outright, the balance is dependent upon passage of the higher education bond issue, said Alan Lind, a consultant to the Assembly Ways and Means Fiscal Committee.

Veto of Ranch Project

A $2-million appropriation to help Glendale purchase the 746-acre Inter-Valley Ranch was the area's biggest loser. The governor vetoed that project, saying it would be premature to approve financing while no park bonds exist to pay for the acquisition. "At this time, we just don't think we can support any more park bond acts," Wallace said.

Glendale city officials said they will try to get money for the project from another state park bond act approved by voters earlier this month. Last week, the City Council set aside $2 million in matching funds as a down payment for the $4.6-million acquisition.

Griffith Park was alloted $485,000 to refurbish walkways, railings, irrigation systems, lighting and picnic facilities in Ferndell, a canyon near the park's Western Avenue entrance. Rose Hill Park in Highland Park, near the border with South Pasadena, will receive $200,000 to improve landscaping and install lighting.

And the city of La Canada Flintridge will receive $537,000 to help purchase 40 acres of land in Cherry Canyon near Descanso Gardens. The city has agreed to pay $179,000 of the $716,000 purchase price.

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