"The intent of this law is to provide a broad oversight role for the committees, thereby encouraging cost-effective use of bond funds," the report states.
"Many of these things that are in the report are things that people on the board have been saying all along," Trustee Marks said. "We really shouldn't have had to spend $250,000 for someone on the outside to tell us this."
The original estimate for all of City College's ambitious bond projects amounted to about $539.7 million, and the school has offset many of those costs by securing tens of millions of dollars in matching funds from the state. But as of January, the total cost has ballooned to $968 million. Last year the Guardian reported that the school gutted several projects promised to voters by "reallocating" roughly $130 million from their budgets to save other projects suffering from skyrocketing cost overruns (See "The City College shell game," 07/03/07).
Trustee John Rizzo, who joined Marks in asking for an audit, said he wished the report had done more to explain why many of the projects were poorly planned, leading to millions of dollars in higher costs. He cited as examples the new Mission Campus and a health and wellness center for athletes.
Rizzo told us, "Just from what contractors say and what staff has been reporting, that still needs to be looked at."