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Merced Community College District
Prop 39 Citizens Oversight Committee Minutes

Saturday, October 9, 2004 - 9:00 a.m.
Merced College Tri-College Center

Members Present:
Chris Tafoya (Chairperson), Michelle Allison, Mary Villalta Brooks, Robert Edminster

Members Absent:
Maggie Randolph, Keith Groniga, Gerald Hoyt, Barbara Ward,

Others Present:
Larry Johnson, Joe Allison, Robin Shepard, Terry Eyrich,
Sheila Flores (recording)

The meeting was called to order at 9:10 a.m. by Chairperson Chris Tafoya.

  1. Hearing of the Public
    (An opportunity will be given to citizens to address the committee on matters of the bond process B a five minute time limit will be allotted to each speaker, with a maximum of twenty minutes to each subject, unless extended by the Chairperson.)

    There was nothing from the public.
  2. Approval of Minutes from the March 13, 2004, Meeting
    It was MSCU (Edminster/Villalta) to approve the minutes.
  3. Discussion and/or Action
    1. Construction Project Update

      Larry Johnson referred to a handout which gave a brief summary of each projects’ progress. Larry explained that there will be more happening in the next five years at Merced College than has occurred in the past 40 years. This will be exciting times for the District. Larry thanked Chris Tafoya and the committee members for their commitment serving as members of the Proposition 39 Oversight Committee.

      Interdisciplinary Academic Center Project: The IAC project will be completed this fall. This project was funded out of state dollars, not local bond funds. Although this project was part of Governor Davis’ “stimulus” plan, the project took many years to complete because of the state’s funding process.

      The project will be completed within the next couple weeks and the building will be open for students beginning with the spring 2005 semester.

      Mary Villalta Brooks asked what would be housed in the new building. Larry said the Interdisciplinary Academic Center will house the Humanities and Social Science Divisions, main Computer Lab, Writing Lab, Archaeology/Anthropology Lab, Geography Lab, Instructional Media Services and several standard classrooms.

      Learning Resources Center Project – Site preparation is under way for the Learning Resources Center Project. This building will be located between the Mechanized Agriculture Building and the North Portables. Site preparation includes the relocation of the newest Child Care Portables and Mechanized Agriculture Portable. The LRC will be by far the largest building in the District, measuring 52,350 assignable square feet. The old Child Care Center, which MCOE currently rents for their adult education program, will be demolished and/or moved by the end of December. Formal notice has been given to MCOE representatives.

      North Loop Road Project – This project is underway and includes the paving of the Stadium Gravel Lot, the construction of a new parking lot to the north of the campus and construction of the North Loop Road. This road will connect G Street to Le High Street.

      Mary Villalta Brooks asked if the road would remain open. Larry said the topic is under discussion whether or not to close the road from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. to deter unsafe activities such as drag racing. However, the road will be open during college business hours (6 a.m. – 11 p.m.). Larry added, District traffic engineers have built in “traffic calming” features. Traffic calming features are items such as dots bots, speed bumps, different colored surfacing and round-abouts.

      Los Banos Campus Projects – Since the last Bond Oversight Committee meeting, the Los Banos Campus has undergone a metamorphosis. Due to recent industry cost increases, the Los Banos Project was over-budget by $5 million dollars.

      The planning committee, along with architects and engineers, were asked to value-engineer the project to bring it within budget. After several months, the project was revised and is now within budget. The campus function will remain the same. The only project reductions were in landscaping, the elimination of two classrooms and a Child Care Center that was operated by “Merced County Head Start.”

      Robin Shepard is working with a committee to fundraise for landscaping and other campus features that were eliminated due to the value engineering process.

      Mary Villalta Brooks asked if there would be a stop-light installed at the entrance along Highway 59. Larry said there would be a stop-light installed at sometime. However, he reminded committee members that the entrance shown on the plot map was only a temporary entrance. In the future, the entrance will be moved to the east of the Campus. Currently, the east entrance cannot be used because the land adjacent to the east entrance is currently utilized as farmland.

      Mary Villalta Brooks asked “what would happen with the old campus”? Larry said the Board has not yet made a decision.

      Business Resource Center Project - The Business Resource Center is planned for the block across from City Hall, between 18th and 19th Streets. Larry reminded committee members the plans reflect the construction of a three-story parking garage and a Hilton Gardens. The college would build directly across from Hilton Gardens.

      The Business Resource Center Project planning committee is currently revising the plans to reflect a two-story building as opposed to a three-story building. This will allow for a more functional and productive space for the college. Programs that will utilize this space will be ESL (English as a Second Language), CITD (Center for International Trade), Workplace Learning Resource Center (WpLRC), Employer Focused Training Center (ETC), and Medical Assistant and Microcomputers in Business courses. This project should begin in 2005.

      Science Building Remodel Project – Science Building portables will be on-site mid-November. These portables will house the labs currently held in the Science Building. Other science courses were scheduled on campus in existing classrooms. Larry said the Science Building is currently the largest building on campus and by-far, the most complex. The relocation of the science programs will occur between the fall and spring semesters. The project is scheduled to begin in early spring.

      Mary Villata Brooks asked if the college would be cutting any science courses. Larry said that every attempt has been made to maintain the same number of sections and to-date; none of those sections have been cut. Mary said that after going through the process of enrolling her son in a university, she now knows the critical importance of the Community College Science Program and urged college representatives not to cut any classes as a result of the remodel.

      Terry Eyrich, Facilities Master Planning Chairperson and Chairperson of the Science and Math Division, said “it has been a challenge trying to keep the curriculum intact.” However, he is doing everything in his power not to eliminate any sections. The project is scheduled to begin early spring.

      Lesher Building Remodel Project – The Lesher Building Remodel Project when completed will provide a one-stop shopping concept for students. Departments such as Admissions and Records, Counseling, EOPS, Student Assessment, Disabled Student Services, Financial Aid, Student Fees, Foster Care, CalWORKs, and Bookstore will be housed in this building. Once vacated by Financial Aid, EOPS, Student Fees, and DSS, the Student Union will be remodeled and turned back into a Student Union. This project will be included in the 2005-2006 Governor’s Budget for funding of all phases (Preliminary Plans, Working Drawings, Construction and Equipment) and the project will begin as soon as the Learning Resource Center Project is completed.

      Allied Health Center Project – The Allied Health Center Project was submitted as a Final Project Proposal in 2004 and District representatives are waiting for the Chancellor’s Office to include the project in the Governor’s Budget as a state approved project. It is anticipated the project will begin in 2007. The building has been sited to the east of the Plant Science Building.

      Agriculture Science and Technology/Technology Training Projects – After the value-engineering of the Los Banos Campus Project, District representatives believed in the benefits of combining projects. District representatives asked the Agriculture and Industrial Technology Divisions to look at their projects to see if there would be a benefit in combining the two into one. By combining the projects the building would be completed much faster and the District would benefit by getting more for their money. As part of this new plan, current facilities would not be eliminated.

      Both divisions met and decided it would be a good idea to combine the projects into one. An Initial Project Proposal will be submitted in 2005 and planning will occur over the fall and spring semesters.

      Siemens Energy Retrofit – The Merced Campus will be undergoing a major $5 million dollar energy retrofit. Upon completion, this project will provide the campus with a much larger central plant, which will accommodate future buildings, and the campus will be more energy efficient. Project planning is underway and construction/modification will begin in spring 2005.

    2. Approval of 2003-04 Annual Proposition 39 Oversight Committee Report.

      Joe Allison referred to the financials for School Facilities Improvement District 1, Merced Campus. Joe said the difference from last year’s report is the reflection of funds distributed for Site Acquisition, Plans and Working Drawings, Construction and Equipment. Since the state allocates funds based on this method (SA, PWD, C, and E), it made more sense to report the expenditures based on this method. As of June, 2004, bond funds in the amount of $1,737,631 were expended. This represents 8.69% of the total amount available.

      Joe referred to the financials for School Facilities Improvement District 2, Los Banos Campus. The same changes were made to the Los Banos spreadsheets. As of June, 2004, bond funds in the amount of $714,314 were expended. This represents 13.90% of the total amount available.

      Joe pointed out that each of the spreadsheets, Merced and Los Banos, reflect an item - “Eligible Bond Project Costs”. This amount reflects dollars that have been spent, but have not yet been allocated to a particular project.

      Mary Villalta Brooks asked if interest is earned on the unspent bond dollars and if interest is earned, what happens with the money. Joe said that California Asset Management is the holder of our bond dollars and keeps track of earnings.

      Larry informed committee members that at the next meeting we will provide information prepared by our financial advisor regarding arbitrage. If there are additional questions regarding the interest earned from bond dollars, we would ask our financial advisor to attend a future meeting.

      After discussion, it was MSCU (Allison/Brooks) to accept the 2003-2004 Bond Oversight Committee Annual Report.
  4. Selection of Date and Time of the Next Meeting

    The next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, March 5, 2005 at 9:00 a.m. in the Interdisciplinary Academic Center.

The meeting adjourned at 10:15 p.m.




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