Almanac

News - October 19, 2011

Contractors contribute $75,000 to bond measure campaign for college district

by Dave Boyce

The campaign for Measure H, a $564 million bond measure on the Nov. 8 ballot for the San Mateo County Community College District, had contributions totaling $251,641, including donations from two San Jose construction companies, according to a finance report from the county Elections Office.

Robert A. Bothman Inc. gave the campaign $50,000 on Sept. 2, the report shows, while Hensel Phelps Construction Company, which has headquarters in Colorado, gave $25,000 on Aug. 29.

Both companies have done work for the district, according to district records. Bothman rebuilt the athletic facilities for all three college campuses: Canada College in Woodside, the College of San Mateo in San Mateo, and Skyline College in San Bruno.

The improvements included rehabilitating the baseball and soccer fields and the tennis courts at all three campuses, plus a new football field, track-and-field facility and bleachers at the College of San Mateo, and new bleachers and a track at Skyline, according to summaries at the Bothman website.

That work, combined with a recent upgrade to Canada College's roads and pathways, yielded between $25 million and $30 million for the company, said Vice President Brian Bothman in a telephone interview.

"We support just about every bond measure in every district in the Bay Area," he said when asked about the $50,000 donation. "It helps the economy."

The district's money gets spread around through the general contractors to architects, engineering companies and small contractors, he added. "It's not just us by ourselves. We represent a great deal of other businesses that really benefit from this kind of stuff."

Hensel Phelps erected two buildings in the district, according to its website, but details were unavailable. In a telephone interview, company Vice President Jon W. Ball, when told of the $25,000 donation, said that "there really is no expectation other than we just want to participate (in the bidding)."

"Community colleges, in a down economy, are one of the few markets that there's much future in," he added.

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