During the 2016 primary election held on March 15, with early voting from March 3-12, voters in North Carolina have a great opportunity to bring North Carolina universities, community colleges, agriculture, National Guard, public safety, state parks, and small town infrastructure into the 21st century.
The bond, called the “ Connect NC Public Improvement Bond ” on the primary ballot, is the first statewide bond referendum since 2000. Since then North Carolina has grown by more than 2 million people.
The ballot will include a “For” and “Against” box with the description of the bond as follows:
“The issuance of two billion dollars ($2,000,000,000) State of North Carolina Public Improvement Bonds constituting general obligation bonds of the State secured by a pledge of the faith and credit and taxing power of the State for the purpose of providing funds, with any other available funds, to fund capital improvements and new facilities for the State, including, without limitation, the construction and furnishing of new facilities and the renovation and rehabilitation of existing facilities for, without limitation, the University of North Carolina System, the North Carolina Community College System, water and sewer systems, the State’s National Guard, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, attractions and parks, and the Department of Public Safety.”
On a statewide level, the Connect NC Public Improvement Bond (Connect NC Bond) will not raise taxes because our state leaders have wisely paid down and paid off existing debt. This means that the bond can be paid for without increasing taxes in North Carolina.
The Connect NC Bond will enhance and improve all community colleges in North Carolina. The Community College System will benefit from the bond, receiving $350 million for new construction and repairs that will enable colleges to train North Carolinians to meet the demands of a changing workforce.
If the Connect NC Bond is approved, Piedmont Community College (PCC) will receive over $4.85 million. The PCC Board of Trustees has determined that the funding should be used to address long standing critical needs in an effort to improve student experiences and workforce development opportunities.
For more than 40 years, PCC has been the go-to source for industry-supported and industry-specific training. Our students, our communities, and our industries need the support this bond offers to strengthen the infrastructure of PCC campuses.
In Person County, funds will be used to prepare a campus that was built in the late 1970’s for the modern day needs of a global workforce. This will include renovations to the Student Services area, Barnette Auditorium, the student union, and the Business Development & Entrepreneurship Center.
The Caswell County campus will also see expansion, allowing for new labs in the area of healthcare and other sciences and a student union/multi-purpose space. In addition, the expansion will promote new programming opportunities in areas like simulation game development.
On January 19 the PCC Board of Trustees approved a resolution in support of the Connect NC Bond Act, noting that it will enable North Carolina’s system of higher education to educate and train a highly qualified workforce for the 21st century.
In addition, the bond referendum has bipartisan support in North Carolina. The vote will be March 15, with early voting starting March 3.