The Coast Community College District made over $850,000 in campus facility rentals from 2021 to 2022, according to a report presented at the Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday.
In that same period, Orange Coast College earned about $350,000 while Golden West College raked in $405,000, despite having a smaller campus.
Trustee Elizabeth Dorn Parker said that could be due to the Golden West’s close relationship with the surrounding areas.
“I think that Golden West has a history of being really connected to the community,” Parker said.
She went on to say that the most recent numbers don’t accurately represent the normal amount of revenue of facility rentals as all the campuses remained closed for all of 2021. Parker said the earning potential of OCC has increased due to new buildings like the College Center being constructed during the pandemic.
During the report, Parker raised concerns about rental costs, which at OCC currently range from $15 to $1,500 per hour, with a four hour minimum.
“What are we doing with our fees to be in alliance with community needs?” Parker said.
Vice President of Administrative Services Rich Pagel said fees are occasionally subject to review.
“When we go through that periodic analysis, every few years, we'll go through and look at the rates and see how they compare with other venues,” Pagel said.
Parker said she hoped that rental fees will remain competitive because many of the facilities were built with Measure M bond funding paid by taxpayers within the CCCD.
“If you go back to the mission of the community colleges, it is to be in the community,” Parker said. “That's why the community supported building the facilities and technology because they feel they have an ownership of the college overall. There is this connection of them passing the bond and agreeing to fund it through their property tax increases, and then feeling like they should have access.”
Parker said that including nearby residents in campus life can serve to encourage children to become future OCC students.
“When you start a five year old in a pool at a community college, then they are familiar [with campus], like my boys and all their buddies that were swimming in there,” Parker said. “They're walking around, like 8 years old going, ‘this is my college.’”
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