San Joaquin Delta College to place $598M bond measure on ballot in November


In November, voters will decide whether to pass a $598 million bond measure to upgrade aging facilities at San Joaquin Delta College.

The Delta College Board of Trustees recently approved placing the measure on the ballot in the upcoming general election.

School officials say the bond would help address improvements needed at each of Delta College’s four campuses, including fixing old plumbing, repairing leaky roofs, upgrading classrooms and labs, and improving student safety.

If approved, property owners would pay an average of $49 per year in property taxes, according to Delta College officials.

“Delta College trains community members for higher-paying careers in important local fields like agriculture, robotics, law enforcement, and healthcare,” Superintendent Lisa Aguilera Lawrenson said. “For the healthcare industry alone, Delta College prepares more than 400 workers each year to fill critical jobs such as registered nurses, emergency medical technicians, and more.”

The superintendent said that in order to continue providing these programs, the college urgently needs to upgrade and repair its facilities to meet today’s academic and safety standards.

Board President Charles Jennings agreed.

“The decision to propose a bond measure in November 2024 is a landmark moment in the history of Delta College,” Jennings said. “We must improve our aging facilities so that we can continue to provide a high-quality, affordable education for tens of thousands of students each year.”

By law, a bond measure to improve school facilities requires strict accountability protections, including an independent citizens’ oversight committee, mandatory annual audits, and a detailed project list.

All funds would be controlled locally for Delta College improvements and no funds could be used for employee salaries.

It’s been two decades since Delta College last proposed a bond measure for voter approval. If voters approve the bond, it will be the college’s third measure in its 89-year history.

The first came in 1969 and paid for the construction of the Stockton campus.

The passage of the $250 million Measure L in 2004 allowed the college to complete a handful of projects, including new recreation and athletics facilities, the DeRicco Student Services Building, the Goleman Learning Resource Center, and most recently a state-of-the-art science and mathematics building in 2014.

Subsequent refinancing of the Measure L bond saved taxpayers nearly $26 million, according to Delta College officials.

However, Measure L has not gone without criticism, particularly due to its failure to deliver at satellite campuses.

In 2017, Delta College trustees pulled funding for a north county satellite campus to the dismay of Lodi’s mayor and advocates. The south campus at Mountain House fell short of expectations and was left unfinished with temporary portable buildings.

Delta College’s main campus is located at 5151 Pacific Ave. in Stockton and the south campus is located at 2073 S. Central Parkway in Mountain House. The college also has a 155-acre site in Manteca dedicated to agricultural education, and partners with the World of Wonders Science Museum in Lodi to offer a variety of classes and student services.

“We encourage the public to learn more about our proposed bond measure in the months to come, and about Delta College’s ongoing efforts to uplift our community,” Lawrenson said.

For more information about Delta College’s potential bond measure, visit deltacollege.edu/ourfuture.

Record reporter Hannah Workman covers news in Stockton and San Joaquin County. She can be reached at hworkman@recordnet.com or on Twitter @byhannahworkman. Support local news, subscribe to The Stockton Record at https://www.recordnet.com/subscribenow.

This article originally appeared on The Record: San Joaquin Delta College to place $598M bond measure on November ballot



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