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Palomar College Committee To Meet Friday On $1 Million Presidential Suite

Palomar College President Joi Lin Blake (third from left) is shown at the gra...

Photo by Megan Wood / inewsource

Above: Palomar College President Joi Lin Blake (third from left) is shown at the grand opening of the school’s $67 million library on Feb. 22, 2019.

A week after inewsource reported that Palomar College is spending $1 million to remodel its new $67 million library to build a top-floor presidential suite, the group that oversees the school’s bond spending will meet to reconsider the project.

Committee member Michael Hunsaker asked for the topic to be on the oversight group’s Friday agenda, saying the office should be re-evaluated because there may be “more economical” options. Committee members have told inewsource they first learned of the presidential suite remodel last year.

Bond oversight committee meets Friday

Palomar College’s bond oversight committee will meet at 12:30 p.m. Friday in Room 111 of the Maintenance & Operations building on the San Marcos campus. The meeting is open to the public. For more information, click here.

At the library’s grand opening this past Friday, President Joi Lin Blake told inewsource the reporting on her new office suite was “inconsequential.”

“The focal point (of the new library) is the students. It has nothing to do with me (or) my office,” Blake said.

Construction of Blake’s suite began in late January and is expected to be completed this summer. It will include her office, space for two staffers, and a conference room, restroom, work/break room and waiting area.

Photo by Megan Wood / inewsource

Palomar College President Joi Lin Blake speaks at the grand opening of the school’s $67 million library on Feb. 22, 2019.

Hunsaker, a retired engineer and San Marcos resident, said the current plans for the president’s office need to be looked at again to see if cheaper options are available.

“There should be a number of different locations and different buildings that could be modified,” he said, including the $46 million Humanities Building that opened in 2014.

Money for the new library and presidential suite remodel came from Proposition M, a $694 million bond measure voters passed in 2006. The Palomar College district’s bond oversight committee meets four times a year and is responsible for making sure those funds are spent according to the ballot measure presented to voters.

Oversight committee members told inewsource they had previously been briefed on the presidential suite remodel, but construction contracts and purchase orders on bond-funded projects do not go to the committee for approval.

Instead, an overview of ongoing projects are presented to the panel when it meets, and members can ask questions and make recommendations to district officials.

Photo caption:

A week after inewsource reported that Palomar College is spending $1 million to remodel its new $67 million library to build a top-floor presidential suite, the group that oversees the school’s bond spending will meet to reconsider the project.

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