A $48-million community college campus with panoramic ocean views over Banning Ranch opened its doors Wednesday.
Guests gathered for a ribbon cutting at the three-story Newport Beach building that sits on the new 3.4-acre campus at 1515 Monrovia Ave.
College leaders and faculty, Coast Community College District board members and administrators, Newport-Mesa Unified School District board members and Newport Beach Mayor Nancy Gardner gathered to celebrate the new satellite campus.
"Today represents actualization of a vision for a beautiful, sustainable modern facility that honors the art of teaching and learning in an everlasting partnership that provides a resource center for everyone in our community," said Coastline President Loretta P. Adrian.
Coastline, which is known for its extensive online distance learning, has campuses in Westminster, Garden Grove and Costa Mesa, as well as administrative offices in Fountain Valley. The new campus will replace the Costa Mesa site on East Mesa Verde Drive.
"Coastline enjoys a global reputation for excellence, yet many people in our own area are not fully aware of everything we offer to our students," said district board President Jim Moreno. "With this new building, which you see here, that will change."
Classes will begin in January, but in the meantime, the Coastline Art Gallery will be open.
At full capacity, the campus can serve 900 students, 35 faculty and 11 staff members, said Coastline spokeswoman Michelle Ma.
During the reception, community members sipped sparking apple cider and nibbled on mini cupcakes while taking in the sweeping ocean views and the unique design of the building.
Design Principal Glenn Carels, of architecture company LPA Inc., designed many of the walls to be angled at 7 degrees, as a nod to how a sailboat would react to the breeze coming off the ocean. The campus also features an open air atrium with grass, a rooftop garden and glass walls along the oceanside.
"I think it's gorgeous," said Orange Coast College instructor Jill Golden. "Look at that view."