Voters Back Facilities Bond Measure for First Time in More than 50 Years
Oceanside CA— MiraCosta College will soon lay the groundwork to sell $455 million in general obligation bonds for modernizing aging facilities and upgrading instructional technology, thanks to voter approval Tuesday of Measure MM – the first successful MiraCosta College bond measure in more than 50 years. As of November 9 at 6:30 a.m., with 90.4 percent of the votes counted, Measure MM has received 62.24 percent of the vote. Fifty-five percent is needed to pass the measure.
“MiraCosta College is grateful to the community for supporting this bond measure, which will allow us to make essential campus improvements and technological upgrades needed to provide a first-class education to our students and better prepare them for high demand, high skill jobs in our regional economy,” said MiraCosta College President/Superintendent Dr. Sunny Cooke.
Measure MM will allow the MiraCosta Community College District to implement its Facilities Master Plan and construct career training facilities for science, nursing, health care, engineering and skilled trades; improve job training, counseling and support services for veterans; modernize instructional technology in math, science and technology; repair or replace leaky roofs, worn-out floors, outdated restrooms, faulty electrical systems and deteriorating plumbing lines; and improve access for students with disabilities. MiraCosta has posted its full Facilities Master Plan on its website, www.miracosta.edu/improvement.
Business groups and the San Diego County Taxpayers Association were among those backing the proposal. “Measure MM is a fiscally responsible plan that requires accountability and local control. Every penny will directly support facilities for transfer education, job-training, veterans in our community college here in North County,” said Henry Hong, president & CEO of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association.
In total, the measure received endorsements from 219 individuals and nine community organizations, including endorsements from the Veterans Association of North County and a myriad of educational leaders and elected officials.
“Every day, MiraCosta College works with veterans who need help finding classes, retraining for careers or getting the benefits they deserve. MiraCosta College facilities need to be improved so they can better serve our veterans,” said State Assembly Member Col. Rocky Chavez, USMC (Ret.), who also endorsed the measure. Part of MiraCosta’s Faciliites Master Plan will fund a permanent Veterans Center.
MiraCosta College is a job generator that plays a major role in driving the coastal North County economy and provides skilled training in growing fields such as biotechnology, nursing, maritime technology and high-tech manufacturing. A recent report analyzing the economic impact of higher education systems found that MiraCosta College pumps $338.4 million into San Diego County’s Gross Regional Product annually – enough to support 5,041 jobs in its service area each year.
“When local residents need to advance their skills or train for a trade, they turn to MiraCosta College,” said Joseph D. Panetta, president & CEO of Biocom, a trade organization focusing on life sciences that endorsed Measure MM. “Local cutting-edge businesses need skilled workers. Measure MM will ensure we maintain the workforce that keeps North County a hub of economic activity.”
More than one-third of local high school graduates attend MiraCosta College, and more than 1,800 active-duty military personnel, veterans and their families rely on MiraCosta College for essential job training and counseling services.
“When I returned home, MiraCosta College gave me the guidance I needed to take classes and succeed in civilian life,” said MiraCosta College student Jerry Borja, USMC, (Ret.). “There are hundreds of other veterans here who need this support. For us, Measure MM is critical.”
No money raised from Measure MM will be spent on faculty or administrative salaries or pensions, and an independent citizens’ oversight committee will regularly review all expenses and provide updated reports to the community to ensure that all funds are spent as promised. The measure means property owners will pay an additional $14.99 per $100,000 of their assessed property value – or approximately $75 annually for a home valued at $500,000.
For additional information about the measure, visit www.miracosta.edu/improvement.