Background and Additional Information
At the regular meeting of the Board of Trustees on March 11, 2014, the Board voted to establish a project and authorize funding in the amount of $15 million for planning and establishing a North County site and education center ("North County Center" or "NCC"). In Summer and Fall 2014, the District developed the Team and the approach to the required site selection process.
In accordance with relevant codes and regulations, the District issued a formal solicitation (RFP-LA-45) in February 2015 that invited the "submissions of Proposals from landowners, facilities owners, and/or representatives of landowners and facilities owners…interested in offering land, existing facilities, or both…" for the development of a north county education center. That solicitation, along with appendices and addendum issued, identified requirements each proposed offering should meet, and explained that each submitted proposal would be compared against competing, submitted proposals and against certain property already owned by the District and commonly known as the Liberty Road Property, for which a feasibility study was ongoing.
At the October 20, 2015 meeting of the Board of Trustees, Ms. Nanette Green of the Citizens for a College Campus in Lodi read the attached letter into the record of the meeting and asked for a written response from District Superintendent Hart. Below are copies of the letter received and Dr. Hart's response:
Letter & Written Response
Anyone interested in reviewing documents associated with RFP-LA-45 may do so by downloading them here:
- RFP for North County Center (NCC) Project Alternative Site(s)/Facilities
- RFP Appendix A - Applicable Education Code for Education Facilities of California's Community Colleges
- RFP Appendix B - Maps of NCC Project area overview & preferred geographic region
- RFP Appendix C - Mission & Envisioned Academic Programs at NCC
- Addendum 1 to the RFP
- Addendum 2 to the RFP
- Addendum 3 to the RFP
- Addendum 4 to the RFP
- Addendum 5 to the RFP
- Addendum 6 to the RFP
- RFP Addendum 6, referenced document: A vision document written by a stakeholder group that calls itself "Citizens For North Campus" (CFNC)
- District Presentation given at two pre-proposal meetings
- 36 page guidance from DSA Stakeholder Edition of "Rehabilitation Of Existing Non-Conforming Buildings For Public School And California Community College Use"
- 35 pages, Feasibility guidelines for selection of existing non-conforming facilities for rehabilitation to Calfornia's Community Colleges.
- A paper that discusses the building code requirements and describes the process for the seismic rehabilitation of schools in California.
The RFP noted that the schedule following the proposal submission date of April 9, 2015 was an "…estimate and subject to change…" due to uncertainties related to how long it would take to complete the Liberty Road Property feasibility study and/or to clarify and evaluate the submitted proposals, brief the Administration, and to determine the short-list of qualified Proposals.
Since proposals were submitted in response to RFP-LA-45 on April 9, 2015, the NCC Project Team conducted and concluded its first round of technical evaluation of the Proposals and briefed the Administration. However, the feasibility study of the Liberty Road Property has taken longer than anticipated, and the Team has been engaging with various authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) over potential development of that Property.
Additionally, as presented in the RFP, the State of California and Federal regulations, policies, and processes determines how the District must pursue the development of a site/facilities and stipulates the needed authorizations to implement the educational programs to be offered at that center. Appendix A of the RFP listed certain relevant chapters and articles of the California Education Code. Article 6 of the RFP highlighted some key aspects of the regulatory and operational considerations that shape the District's development of educational centers, and corresponding site selection.
Two key goals of any new educational center are:
- obtaining approval(s) by the CCC Chancellor's Office (CCCCO) and the Board of Governors, and
- attracting students as quickly as possible such that enrollments exceed 1,000 Full Time EquivalentStudents (FTES) annually.
Until the Chancellor's Office approval is obtained and the CCCCO agrees the critical FTES threshold is reached, a District must operate a new center within its existing budget; it does not receive any State base allocation apportionment funding for its operation of the educational facility prior to this approval. Therefore, most Districts, including San Joaquin Delta Community College District, with over 92% of its annual operational budget coming from State funds, require a high confidence level that this critical threshold will be met after the first full academic year-otherwise the District must continue to operate a new center with no additional funding.
In seeking Chancellor's Office approval, a District's center needs to support and align with the overall CCC system plan. The CCC system Long-Range Master Plan was last updated in 1991, and much has changed in the CCC regulatory and operating environment over the years. In December 2014, the CCCCO initiated the undertaking of updating the system-wide master plan, and indicated that the updated plan is anticipated to be completed and presented to the Board of Governors for approval in January 2016. Along with the notice that the CCCCO was undertaking this endeavor, the memo to the Districts (FP-46 via email only, effective December 1, 2015) indicated that the Chancellor's Office would not accept or approve new Letters of Intent for new educational centers until further notice. This was the impetus for the wording in Article 6 of the RFP:
"…development of the District's proposed NCC will be subject to certain discretionary approvals of the Chancellor's Office and the Board of Governors; as a result, the District cannot predict with certainty when or if the proposed NCC will be approved and constructed…"
We wanted to inform potential respondents that this process could take some time.
The District has not made a determination yet as to its preferred location for a North County Center and is still moving forward the concept of a North County Center.