Artist rendering of possible upgrades to the CCC campus. Photo Courtesy of CCC

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Artist rendering of possible upgrades to the CCC campus. Photo Courtesy of CCC

By Gabriel Lucich

Managing Editor

Leaking pipes, non-functioning windows, ceilings falling down; for many people that spend time on a Clackamas Community College campus they see things that need attention. The college grounds and facilities take a lot of maintenance, and sometimes need expansions and updates to keep the college operating at its best. 

How is all this funded? The answer is simple: bond measures. The college asks the citizens of Clackamas County for an advance on property tax dollars. 

The actual writing, passage and implementation of the bond is a bit more complicated, and CCC vice president of finance, operations and strategic partnerships, Jeff Shaffer, explained much of this to The Print.

The college is looking at putting a bond measure on the November 2024 ballot. 

“We don’t have a bond measure for the upcoming election, we haven’t filed it yet,” said Shaffer. “What we are doing right now is collecting community feedback on a potential list of projects. We’re going out into the community, to the school districts, presenting to the full-time faculty senate. We’re doing a road-show right now, with maybe 20 different stops.”

“There’s a little bit of front-end educating people on what a bond is,” said Shaffer. “How it pays for construction, expansion and renovation, it’s all about the infrastructure. Mainly so you don’t have to spend your general fund operating dollars on building. You can focus your operating dollars on teaching and advising, with the staff. All the other things we do with our operation.”

If you didn’t know, the bond measure in 2000 paid for Roger Rook Hall’s construction and the 2014 bond built the Wacheno Welcome Center, Holden Industrial Technology Center and a host of other projects.

One possible project waiting in the wings for this bond is an upgrade of the horticulture program. This expansion could potentially be a partnership with Oregon State University’s Extension Service, with OSU contributing millions (potentially $10 million) to the final project budget. The OSU Horticulture Center of Excellence would be a flagship project that could really improve the Beavercreek Road entrance to the Oregon City campus.

Other possibilities include the modernization of heating and air conditioning systems in some buildings at the Oregon City campus. The athletic and physical education departments could also get a big lift, with upgrades to the athletic fields and track, adding new arena-style grandstand seating arrangements, and possibly an indoor or artificial turf soccer field. 

“We’ve got a whole athletics masterplan,” said Shaffer. “We’ve also talked about completing the Douglas Loop walking trail around the OC campus. As it is now, parts of the trail disappear and you end up walking along the road or through the grass in places.”

All these ideas seem hopeful, but you’re probably wondering how this affects the people footing the bill. This form of bond is funded through the property taxes of Clackamas County residents. Per capita, it’s a fairly negligible amount that really adds up.

“It’s about 25 cents per $1,000 of tax value. So a $300k home with yearly property taxes of $3,000, that comes out to roughly $75 (per year),” said Shaffer. “The state also matches funds on certain projects. On a $16 million project the state will contribute up to $8 million as long as you can match it.” 

These projects can be stacked, with the state matching dollar for dollar up to that cutoff, so multiple projects can be funded by the state and the bond measures, simultaneously, making timelines for the respective projects more achievable.

The 2024 bond renewal should raise an estimated $110 to 120 million for these projects. With state matching and the OSU contributions, the final number will be much higher.

One of the positive aspects of this bond is that the taxpayers really won’t feel an increase in taxes. The taxes for these projects are already at the previously mentioned 25 cents per $1,000, and because this is a renewal of the 2000 bond, they will stay at that level. For the median home in Clackamas County, with a price of roughly $610,000, the cost to the homeowner is $150 per year. If the bond measure is successfully passed by voters, the tax rate for this measure would remain the same.


Gabriel Lucich


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