MERCED, CA — During their regular meeting in January 2004, UC regents endorsed the facilities bond act of 2004 that, if ratified by California voters in March, would pave the way for some $10.8 million in facility construction at UC Merced and billions more in improvements to public schools across the state.
The bond act, known as Proposition 55, is the second half of a two-part statewide bond package approved by the Legislature for funding K-12 and higher education facility needs during the next four years.
In 2002, California voters approved the first half of the measure, Proposition 47. It provided $13 billion to construction and repair projects, including state-supported capital projects at UC. The proposition passed with 59 percent of the vote. Specifically, it authorized some $11.4 billion for K-12 and $1.65 billion for higher education capital projects.
Proposition 55, also known as the Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2004, will provide $12.3 billion in bonds to further fund state-supported capital projects – including $10 billion for K-12 and $2.3 billion for higher education. The 2004 bond would provide $1.15 billion each year for two years.
In all, the legislation which placed both bond measures on the ballot (AB 16) authorizes a total of $27 billion in general obligation bond funds over four years to help fund K-12 and higher education facility needs.
UC would receive approximately $345 million per year for capital outlay for the four-year period covered by the two bond acts. The California State University and the California Community Colleges would also receive capital projects funding.
Over the next four years, UC's projected capital needs total $600 million per year; and the university expects enrollment growth of approximately 63,000 additional students between 2000-2010, according to the UC Office of the President.
Approximately $10.8 million is expected to be allocated to UC Merced over 2004-05 and 2005-06, if the 2004 bond act were to be passed by voters in March. It would provide:
- Logistical Support/Service Facilities— funding would provide a facility to house campus facilities personnel, and environmental health and safety operations in shop, warehouse and office space along with a small corporation yard to accommodate university vehicles and maintenance equipment — $9.29 million (in 2004-05).
- Social Sciences and Management Building— funding would provide for preliminary planning for the academic building, which would provide new instruction and research space for selected social and behavioral science programs, such as economics and political science, and programs with emphasis in public policy, human institutions, economic activity and global resource management. The facility would include offices, labs and case study rooms. (Future State costs would be funded from a subsequent higher education bond acts.) — $1.53 million (in 2005-06)