Nearly 50 years after the last bond-funded improvements were made to MiraCosta Community College District’s campuses, construction of temporary office and classroom space is now underway on both campuses.
The improvements are being made under Measure MM approved by district voters in November 2016.
Measure MM provides $455 million for MiraCosta to upgrade classrooms, add parking spaces and construct new buildings, and other projects on both its Oceanside and San Elijo campus.
“It has been more than 50 years since MiraCosta College passed a bond to repair or improve our facilities," said MiraCosta College President and Superintendent Dr. Sunny Cooke. "With the funds from Measure MM, the district will repair and upgrade our college campuses so we can continue to serve our community well for the decades to come.”
Property owners from Del Mar to Camp Pendleton are paying an extra $15 per $100,000 of the assessed value of their property to fund the renovations. That means annual property taxes on homes valued at around $500,000 have increased by about $75 a year.
The two current projects will provide temporary office and classroom space to support later modernization projects to be built under the bond measure, according to the district’s spokeswoman.
On the north side of the Oceanside campus, two portable buildings are under construction to house ten faculty offices and a computer lab classroom. In San Elijo, construction is underway on an office building, classroom and restroom.
Both projects are scheduled for completion by mid-August 2018.
“All Measure MM planned projects will benefit students inside the classroom as well as support their educational journal to transfer, earn a degree and find a rewarding career,” Cooke said.
MiraCosta has not used a bond to improve aging buildings since the Oceanside campus was built in the 1960’s. Many buildings have rusty plumbing, leaking roofs and other aging infrastructure problems, according to information distributed by the college during their pursuit of voter approval for the bond measure.
Under Measure MM, district officials plan to upgrade career training facilities in science, healthcare, technology and skilled trades with a special focus on supporting veterans and helping them transition to the civilian workforce.
“These changes are crucial for continuing to provide a first-class education to our students as we prepare them for further education, and for high demand, high skill jobs in our dynamic, regional economy,” said Cooke.
On the Oceanside campus, the master plan calls for a comprehensive Veteran Center to improve services to veterans and increase the number of student veterans the community college can serve, according to a district spokesperson.
The new Veteran Center will be strategically located in a Student Services building awaiting renovation, and will act as a gateway building for the campus.
"We want (veterans) to feel welcome and appreciated, and placing the Veteran Center literally at the front of the campus was important in this regard," she said.
MiraCosta serves about 15,000 students. About 3,500 of those enrolled are veterans, active duty and military students. The college also offers non-credit classes that about 5,300 students are taking advantage of this semester.