By Dr. Sunita Cooke
On November 8, North San Diego County voters overwhelmingly voted to support Measure MM, which authorizes the college to sell $455 million in general obligation bonds for modernizing aging facilities and upgrading instructional technology. Thanks to the support of our local community, MiraCosta College is now poised to make a tremendous investment in the quality of our infrastructure and the overall college experience of our students.
Measure MM is the college’s first successful bond measure in over 50 years. The bond stands to change the face and underlying infrastructure of our already exceptional learning environment. Now that Measure MM has passed, MiraCosta College can implement its Facilities Master Plan, which will:
- Improve the Veterans Center to provide job training, job placement, counseling and support services.
- Upgrade career-training facilities for science, health care, technology and skilled trades.
- Update instructional technology for improved student learning in core subjects like math, science and technology.
- Improve access for students with disabilities.
- Repair or replace leaky roofs, worn-out floors and restrooms, old rusty plumbing and faulty electrical systems.
- Update science centers and labs to allow for state-of-the-art courses in biology, chemistry and physical sciences.
Business groups including the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce 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.
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 miracosta.edu/improvement.