October 26, 2004
“There will be more happening at Merced College in the next five years than in the previous 40,” said Merced College’s Dr. Larry Johnson, vice president for Administration during the recent annual meeting of the Proposition 39 Citizen’s Oversight Committee. The committee represents the taxpayers in reviewing the College’s construction bond expenditures.
“This is a really exciting time for Merced College,” Dr. Johnson said, passing around artist’s renderings of several new facilities projects, including the College’s Los Banos Campus, the Learning Resource Center and Interdisciplinary Academic Center.
The building projects, with the exception of the Interdisciplinary Academic Center, are funded through local bonds. In November 2002, local voters approved bonds for projects on the main campus in Merced, and for the construction of a new campus in Los Banos.
After listening to Dr. Johnson's construction progress report, the Prop. 39 Committee unanimously approved its annual report. The report, which is available to the public, showed the total bond expenditures for the Merced Campus at $1.7 million, only about 9 percent of the total $53.5 million available in bond revenues. The majority of the expenditures have included payment of plans and working drawings.
The Los Banos Campus project has expended $714,314, representing 13.9 percent of its bond revenues. Again, the expenditures have gone toward payment of plans and working drawings. The total of the bonds available out of the first bond sale for construction of the Los Banos Campus project is $11.9 million.
The construction schedule for the main campus in Merced shows several projects in the queue. These include the Learning Resources Center (library), which will begin in Spring 2005, the North Loop Road, which will be completed in January 2005, the Business Resource Center in downtown Merced, which is in the design phase, the Science Building remodel, which is expected to begin next spring and take 18 months to complete, and the Lesher Building remodel, which will occur after the new library is built. Other projects coming on line in the next several years include construction of the Allied Health Center and the Agriculture and Technology Building.
The Los Banos Campus is scheduled to break ground in the spring with the first phase of construction to be complete in 2007.
Members of the Prop. 39 are Chairperson Chris Tafoya, Co-Chairperson Margaret Randolph, and members Michelle Allison, Mary Villalta Brooks, Robert Edminster, Keith Groninga, Gerald Hoyt and Barbara Ward.
For more information on Merced Community College District's facilities projects, contact the Office of Public Affairs at (209) 381-6470.