SAN MATEO COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISRICT
Bond Oversight Committee
Annual Report to the Community - 2013
Voters in San Mateo County generously voted to approve a bond measures (Measure A in 2005) which provided $468 million in funding for updating, modernizing, and retrofitting the three community colleges serving County residents: Cañada College, College of San Mateo and Skyline College. To date, Measure A bond funds have generated interest of $18.5 million, which increased the Measure A budget to $486.5 million. As required by law, the District Board of Trustees established a Bond Oversight Committee composed of community leaders with expertise in finance, accounting, education, construction, sustainability and local government. The Committee is charged with the responsibility to assure voters that bond proceeds are expended only for construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation or replacement of College facilities in compliance with the ballot language approved by voters, and that no funds are used for teacher or administrator salaries.
During the past year, the Bond Oversight Committee met to review the District's bond project plans, timelines and proposed expenditures. At each meeting, the Committee was provided financial and project plan updates describing the bond-related activities undertaken by the District.
As of September 30, 2013, the District has expended $452,417,677 and committed $5,401,156 of Measure A funds - 96% of the total authorization.
2013 in Review
During 2013, construction continued at a slow pace as most major projects have been completed. District and College administrations continued their collaboration in planning and scheduling construction projects to minimize the impact on the campus communities and to ensure that bond project funds are efficiently and effectively expended on College improvements that will benefit students for generations to come.
District staff also worked aggressively to secure additional State, local and private funding to supplement bond funds; to date, the District has secured more than $84.3 million from these sources. Earlier this year, the District learned that it would receive more than $9.2M of the $23.3M in bond funds lost (this includes imputed interest) when Lehman Brothers went bankrupt in 2008. In addition, the District will receive a share of the $5.2M settlement in the case brought by San Mateo County against the directors and officers of Lehman Brothers; a lawsuit against the Lehman auditors (Ernst and Young) continues. The District also has experienced a decline in State Capital Outlay funds for projects on all three campuses, due to the fact that the State has failed to approve an educational facilities bond since 2006. The District lost $54 million in previously-approved State funds due to the lack of these educational facilities bond measures. The Lehman and State Capital Outlay losses forced the District to scale back or eliminate several construction projects previously planned.
Of note is that the District’s three Colleges underwent an accreditation review in Fall 2013; the teams of peers from other colleges throughout the State were highly complementary about the District’s facilities, construction planning and provisions for maintenance of buildings and grounds.
The majority of the planned construction projects at Cañada College have been completed. There has been no major activity this calendar year.
College of San Mateo
The majority of the planned construction projects at College of San Mateo have been completed. In Fall 2013, the Diagonal Path Expansion project was completed. This project widened the path of travel between buildings 5 and 10 in order to alleviate pedestrian congestion. Lights were also installed to ensure a safe path of travel. Total project cost was $150k of Measure A funds.
The North Gateway Project, which had been stalled due to litigation initiated by Hillsborough neighbors, is fully under construction, following action by the California Court of Appeals to strike down an injunction that had been placed on the project. This is a $17.9 million project which is being completed in two phases: Phase I which included the load center upgrade to replace underground equipment that had experienced several explosions and demolition of buildings; and Phase II which includes construction of parking lots, new lighting and landscaping, and creation of an outdoor plaza. This project is funded 61% by State capital outlay funds and 39% by Measure A funds. The project is currently approximately 40% complete; final completion is expected in Summer, 2014.
The majority of the planned construction projects at Skyline College have also been completed. In Summer 2013, the replacement and upgrade of theatre seats in Building 1 was completed. The project replaced original seats installed in 1969 with new seating. The project also upgraded the theater’s LED step lights. Total project cost was $180k of Measure A funds.
Sustainability is one of the guiding principles identified in the College District Facilities Master Plan. To achieve these goals, the District requires its consultants and contractors to employ sustainable strategies in the projects included in the District’s Capital Improvement Program. The District is proactively looking for opportunities in the areas of energy management, waste reduction/waste management, water conservation, use of renewable and green construction materials, and building orientation and design. To date, the District has received more than $1 million in energy rebates--all of which was used for additional energy projects. The District also estimates annual energy savings—due to increased lighting efficiency, reduction in watering, upgraded infrastructure, etc.—to be in excess of $2M annually.
The District, in partnership with Schneider Electric, received a grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to install Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations. In Fall 2013, a total of eleven EV charging stations were installed at all three Colleges and the District Office. The CEC grant through Schneider Electric paid for the EV charging stations. Measure A funds paid for the installation and power infrastructure for the project. Total project cost $140k of Measure A funds.
The Bond Oversight Committee continues to be pleased with the results of the District’s modernization and new construction efforts. More detailed information about the bond projects, timelines, and expenditures-to-date is available on the District’s web site: www.smccd.edu. To navigate to the information from the home page, click on Bond Oversight Committee on the District’s main web page. There you will find bond projects and information related to the activities of the Bond Oversight Committee: meeting dates, agendas, minutes, and reports. Additional questions and/or concerns should be addressed to the Bond Oversight Committee in care of: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bond Oversight Committee welcomes members of the community to its meetings which are held twice annually.
Submitted by Bond Oversight Committee Members (2013):