Amber Quaid / Managing Editor
The Del Mar College East and West campuses are about to have some major changes over the next several years with the recent approval of the 2014 Del Mar College Bond Proposition. Buildings will be destroyed, roofs will be repaired, existing buildings will be renovated and fire alarms will be updated. These are just a few of the projects within the new bond.
On Nov. 4, voters approved the bond by a 60 percent to 40 percent margin. The bond allows DMC to use $157 million dollars to make changes to the East and West campuses.
“I was very happy with the 60 percent vote,” Del Mar College President Mark Escamilla said. “It’s a tremendous relief to know the voters supported us.”
The last time DMC had an approved bond was in 2003. That bond was completed in 2009 on time and within budget. There was also a 2008 student revenue bond worth $25 million that allowed for the music and performing fine arts building renovations, which were also completed.
The planning for the 2014 bond started before the vote with idea that if the bond was approved the plan could be moved ahead immediately. The bond works by allowing a bond counsel put together the expectations of a building plan so that DMC borrows money as it needs it, in small increments to complete what it needs at the stage it needs to complete it.
The East and West campuses will start the building projects at the end of 2016 and the central plant project on both campuses will get upgrades starting at the end of 2015. The first building project on East Campus is the Music Phase II/Academic Building project, which finishes the development of the Music Phase I project that was part of the 2008 student revenue bond. The first building project on West Campus is the Academic Building project.
There will be some major renovations including repurposing the Heldenfels administration building into a student enrollment center on East Campus and moving the administration staff to the Memorial building temporarily.
“This building (Heldenfels) used to be the student enrollment building when I was a student in the ’80s,” Escamilla said. “It will be repurposed for that. It will be gutted and totally renovated to accommodate the new space for our students, keeping them in mind.”
There are other projects to the bond that include the demolition of the English building and Heritage Hall on East Campus and the General Purpose building on West Campus. The English building will be rebuilt into three larger buildings to house the students from the old English building and the Memorial building. Another project is to upgrade the fire alarm/intrusion detection systems for both campuses so they are all one system instead of numerous ones trying to work together.
The breakdown of the money that’s going to each campus is $117 million for East Campus, $38 million for West campus and $1.8 million for the Yorktown expansion, making a total of $157 million. For more information about the Capital Improvement Program (the 2014 bond) go to www.delmar.edu/cip.
“It’s time to go to work now,” Escamilla said.
The bond is in the DMC president’s hands to make sure the money and projects stay on task. The DMC Board of Regents oversees what the president does and keeps him on task. The Board of Regents just had an election as well, and Guy Watts won for Del Mar College Regent District 4 with 58 percent of the vote. Carol Scott and Nick Adame won the two at-large seats. Scott received 30 percent of the vote, while Adame received 23 percent.