The North County Center (NCC) Project contemplated re-establishing Delta College’s animal science program at the District-owned Liberty Road Property (LRP) or an alternative site—depending on the outcomes of a technical feasibility study of the LRP and/or a formal solicitation process (RFQ/RFP) for competing alternatives sites/facilities. In 2006, the District purchased the Liberty Road Property (LRP), 140 acre rural and undeveloped parcel located north of Lodi near Galt, to secure property for a potential education center in northern San Joaquin County. 

In late 2016, opposition surfaced to reestablishing the agriculture program in the North County. In November 2016, having finished the initial study phase of the project, the team briefed the District’s Board of Trustees and the public. The team conveyed that while development of the LRP site was technically feasible, to move forward would entail significant environmental costs and require funds in excess of the project budget or the Bond Program’s continency fund (at that time). Encouraging the Board to take a long-term perspective when considering the development of an educational center, the project team recommended that the Board approve the LRP as the “preferred site” for the NCC and to proceed with conceptual master planning, with the outcome thereof used to inform future bond passage or other financing methods.

However, enrollments across the District, the CCC System and the nation’s community colleges at large, have been declining for the last few years, and the District’s leadership decided to take a more conservative approach. The District is currently using existing educational facilities in Galt and Lodi to provide educational opportunities to its constituencies in the area.  The long-term educational planning for a center in the northern San Joaquin County is focused on the idea of growing general education enrollments, transfer and basic skills courses, followed by the establishment of marquee career technical programs. Once enrollments meet or exceed 500 full-time-equivalent students per academic term, the District could advance to a planning stage for a permanent center in the region, possibly using the Liberty Road Property site.  

In July 2017, citing continuing declining enrollments and the need for improvements that the Stockton Campus, the Board canceled the North County Center Project (as well as the Planetarium Project). In turn, the funding previously allocated to these projects was returned to bond program contingency, thereby bringing the balance up over $28 million