The two campuses that make up the West Valley-Mission Community College District (WVMCCD) in northern California’s Santa Clara County share a history typical of many community colleges across the country. Its buildings were constructed in the 1960s and ’70s, and like many public structures of that vintage, today they bear the ravages of time—in need of routine maintenance and, in many cases, extensive renovations or even complete replacement.
Finding money and support for massive public infrastructure upgrades is never easy. It is especially difficult in the shadow of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. A lack of funding has forced governments at every level to make tough choices, cutting capital spending for everything from highways to bridges to municipal buildings, and in particular the types of infrastructure upgrades most needed by the nation’s community colleges.