The San Diego Community College District has been awarded a perfect score on the San Diego County Taxpayers’ Education Foundation’s “2018 School Bond Transparency in San Diego County Summary Report” – meeting 25 out of 25 categories looking at the availability and accessibility of public information on bond programs.
The report section scoring website information provision looks at whether bond program websites include member information, meeting agendas and materials, project lists, performance and financial audits, and committee bylaws information, among other categories. The section looking at reports and audits evaluates whether the documents include program status, detailed information about the projects, expenditures by project and site, and project status.
“The San Diego Community College District makes great efforts to ensure transparency,” said Constance M. Carroll, Chancellor. “Our Citizens’ Oversight Committee and our independent audits are part of our strategy to ensure accountability and open information for voters.”
“We remain grateful to voters and taxpayers for having trust and confidence in the San Diego Community College District to build for the future of education while also investing in our local workforce,” she added. “We are pleased to be recognized as effective stewards of public funds, and appreciate the work of the Taxpayers Association in reviewing information that should be available for public scrutiny.”
The $1.555 billion Propositions S and N construction bond program has provided for new state-of-the-art instructional and career training facilities, major renovations, and campuswide infrastructure projects at City, Mesa and Miramar colleges and seven Continuing Education campuses throughout San Diego. Projects include 36 new buildings, 18 major renovations, four expansion or additions, and approximately 60 infrastructure, parking, and public safety projects. All but four projects have been completed.
At City College, the renovation of the A, D and T buildings – the largest bond project at the City campus – is on target for a late September construction completion and will be open for the spring 2019 semester.
At Mesa College, two projects are also completing this fall. The Center for Business & Technology will be completed in September, and the Fine Arts building will finish construction in October; both will be open for the spring semester in January 2019.
The final Propositions S and N project is a new Child Development Center at City College, currently awaiting design approval from the Division of the State Architect, is expected to start construction in mid-spring of 2019 and be completed in December 2019 or January 2020.
The bond program has also emphasized outreach to small and historically underutilized firms for construction contract opportunities. To date, 1,367 contracts for Propositions S- and N-related work have been issued to firms certified as small, disadvantaged, minority-owned, woman-owned, or disabled veteran-owned, approximately 57% of all bond program contracts, totaling more than $363 million. The overwhelming majority of the contracts have gone to firms within San Diego County – typically averaging between 76-80% each year.