VALENCIA — The Santa Clarita Valley Community College District board Wednesday awarded two bids to lease surplus college land for private development, a move expected to generate more than $75 million over the next 60 years.
The lease agreements will allow two developers to turn 14 acres on College of the Canyons property at Valencia Boulevard and Rockwell Canyon Road into a hotel and office site.
"This is a really good deal for the college," trustee Bruce Fortine said.
The funds generated from the two leases will supplement state money and be used for construction of new college facilities, maintenance of technological equipment and establishment of new programs at the school, officials said.
Nicolas Ferguson, assistant superintendent-vice president of administrative services for the college, said officials began discussing a lease program more than 10 years ago while preparing the college's master facilities plan.
He said officials needed a remedy for the state's slow response to the college's building and improvement needs.
"Buildings come five to 10 years later than when you need them," he said.
Leasing property allows the campus quicker access to funds, allowing the college to move on projects much faster, Ferguson said. That is important for schools such as College of the Canyons that are experiencing rapid student enrollment growth.
"It's not just a business venture either," he said.
One thing officials looked for in awarding the bids were projects where interactive relationships could be developed with the college, he said. The hotel, for instance, will provide a good training ground for those studying hotel and restaurant management, Ferguson said.
"It's not only a financial plus, but an educational plus," he said.
The two developers--J.H. Snyder Co. of Los Angeles and Andrus Enterprises Inc. of Maryland--have 60 days to work out the terms of the lease with college officials. The developers would then need approval from the Santa Clarita City Council before construction could begin.
Ferguson said he expects it will be about 15 months before the projects can begin.
The land is now being used as a college parking lot.
Foster is a correspondent.