The college's two main funding sources to build and renew facilities are general obligation bonds and certificates of participation.
General obligation bonds
These bonds are approved by the voters in our district. A tax is levied to retire the debt. In May 2008, voters approved a $92 million bond levy for the college. Projects funded with the General Obligation bonds are:
- A health sciences classroom building on the Salem campus
- An applied technology classroom building on the Salem campus
- A college center on the Yamhill Valley campus
- An emergency response training center in Brooks
- A variety of remodel and deferred maintenance projects
In spring of 2014 the college will issue the last of the $92 million of bonds voters approved in 2008. The $14 million issue will be added to the $78 million sold since 2008. In addition to the sale, the college anticipates refunding a portion of the 2008 bonds which will save taxpayers approximately $2.3 million in current dollars due to lower interest rates.
Certificates of Participation
The college periodically issues certificates of participation (COPs, also called full faith and credit obligations) as an alternative way to acquire and construct facilities. The debt is repaid by the revenue generated from the asset, typically income from rental of building space. Two of the more recent projects funded with COPs are partially funding the construction of the Chemeketa Center for Business and Industry and the site acquisition for the Yamhill Valley Campus.
The final sale of the 2008 voter approved bonds will allow the college to complete two major projects. The larger project is the continuation and completion of a 53,000+ square foot lab and classroom building to serve the college's Machining, Drafting and Engineering programs. The second project is the remodel of building 4 which serves the college's Electronics, Automotive and Visual Communications programs.
Three major projects were completed and brought into service in the fall term 2011:
- The Health Sciences Classroom Complex. The complex provides additional training space for students in nursing, dental hygiene, and pharmacy technology as well as a dental clinic. The complex included a major remodel of building 8 and a very large addition added to the west side of that building.
- The Brooks Emergency Response Classroom building. This building provides training space for students pursuing degrees in fire science, first-responder medicine (paramedics and EMTs), law enforcement, and criminal justice.
- The Yamhill Valley Campus. This building is located near highway 18 in McMinnville at the site of the former Tanger Outlet Mall. The building, coupled with the surrounding landscape plan and future building plans, are the first step toward transforming the site into a college campus. These facilities allow Chemeketa to expand the depth and breadth of course offerings to residents of Yamhill County.