Several campus projects suspended in wake of budget concerns

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A number of renovation projects in the district have been put on hold by the board of trustees on the advice of President/Superintendent Dr. Jeff Marsee.

The hold affects most of the projects listed in Phase 1 of the facilities master plan, including improvements to the forums and Budd, as well as the Shima Project, an expansion of the area used by the Caterpillar and Heavy Diesel Mechanics programs.

According to Marsee, the projects were put on hold for review due to a concern about the use of Measure L bond funds.

“When I looked at the committed funds…I began asking some questions. The first one was none of the projects that were listed to be completed had any state matching funds. All the projects were 100 percent bond or local funds,” said Marsee.

The Shima Project, along with the Holt and Budd auto shop remodel is of special concern, due to the estimated $46 million price tag and what Dr. Matt Wetstein, Dean of Planning, Research, and Institutional Effectiveness, refers to as the inter-dependencies inherent in the project.

“Automotive is impacted in terms of space,” explained Wetstein. “It has good enrollments and insufficient space.”

The automotive program is currently sharing space with the heavy diesel mechanics program, which was scheduled to move into Shima with the Caterpillar program after its space was expanded.

This would free up space to expand automotive and update the shops.

Due to the suspension of Measure L spending, this will not be able to happen.

Also on hold are a new barn for the Manteca campus, updated signs and landscaping for the Stockton campus, the demolition of both Cunningham and the Clever Planetarium, and plans for a potential Lodi campus.

Unaffected by the suspension are plans for renovating the Stockton campus restrooms, a remodel of Danner’s second floor, and a remodeling of the Mountain House campus to add three labs.

Construction will also continue on the new Math & Science Center.