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Merced College Approves Five-Year Construction Plan

May 12, 2003

With its recent approval of the Five-Year Construction Plan, the Merced Community College Board of Trustees set in motion a series of projects that will change the face of education at Merced College.

Each year, the Merced Community College District (MCCD) is required to submit a Five-Year Construction Plan to the Chancellor’s Office. In addition, the MCCD can submit an Initial Project Proposal (IPP) for each new construction project contained in the plan. The plan identifies the capital outlay needs of the College over the next five years.

This year, the MCCD will submit one IPP for an Allied Health Building project, which if approved, will begin its funding cycle in 2006-2007. The MCCD Board of Trustees voted unanimously on May 6 to send to the Chancellor’s Office a Final Project Proposal (FPP) for the Lesher Building Remodel. The Lesher building currently houses the college library and is planned for conversion into a student services building. If approved, this project’s funding cycle will begin in 2005-2006.

In November 2002, voters in the MCCD approved a bond measure for the construction of projects on the main campus in Merced. Voters in western Merced County also approved a bond measure for construction of a new campus in Los Banos. The MCCD will leverage these local bonds in seeking additional funding from the state.

The plan includes the Interdisciplinary Academic Center (IAC), a $9,605,000 multi-disciplinary teaching facility. The IAC is funded by the state and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2004. The IAC combines two academic divisions with a basic skills and computer center in a centralized learning environment that will improve teaching capabilities and distance learning programs.

The plan also identifies improvements in the College’s internal road system to accommodate better fire suppression and safety requirements. The project is funded by local bonds at a cost of $2,938,000. The northern portion of this project is scheduled to begin next year.

Preliminary and working drawings for site development of the Los Banos Campus are funded through bonds at a cost of $1,253,200. The MCCD is seeking an additional $4,903,000 from the state Proposition 53 2004-2005 project list. Funds for construction of permanent facilities are also included in the request. Five million dollars in bond funds will be used to construct the Los Banos Academic Technology Building and $4,740,000 in bond funds will be used to construct the Los Banos Vocational Education Building.

On the main campus, the Science Building will be remodeled with $500,000 in local funds and $12,302,000 requested from the state in Proposition 53. Preliminary and working drawings begin in the fall. The College’s Business Resource Center will be constructed during 2004-2005 from local funding at a cost of $8,000,000. The center will provide space for business, workforce and economic development programs currently housed in other off-campus facilities.

A new Learning Resources Center will be constructed in 2004-2005. This project addresses the critical need for expansion of library and media services. Bond funds will provide $9,358,000 and MCCD will seek a matching amount from the state for a total project cost of $18,716,000.

After construction of the new library building is complete, the Lesher Building will be remodeled in 2006-2007 to address the need for development of centralized student services on the main campus. These services include counseling, financial aid, admissions and records, transfer and career center, job placement, Vocational Student Services, bookstore, student fees, Foster Care and Disabled Student Services. Bond funds will provide $2,403,000 and MCCD will seek an additional $2,403,000 in funding from the state for a total project cost of $4,806,000.

Other projects in the plan include construction of a new Allied Health Building in 2007-2008 at a total cost of $7,186,000, a new Technology Training Building in 2009-2010 at a total cost of $13,000,000, and an Agriculture Science Technology Building to be constructed in 2010-2011 at a total cost of $5,000,000. Each of these projects will be submitted to the state to request 50 percent funding of total construction costs.

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