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Science buildings to be unveiled Thursday

Three new buildings at Orange Coast College, which cost $52 million and feature state-of-the-art equipment, will be introduced to public in tour.

March 21, 2011|By Sarah Peters, sarah.peters@latimes.com

COSTA MESA — Orange Coast College has announced the completion of a new $52-million classroom facility, the largest on the campus.

The buildings, which were opened at the beginning of this year to service spring semester students, will be officially introduced to the public at a grand opening tour Thursday.

The Allied Health Sciences, Biological Sciences and Consumer Sciences and Design Complex features 32 instructional rooms, eight standard lecture classrooms and 24 labs, according to a press release.

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The three-building complex totals 72,000 square feet. It was designed by Irvine architectural firm LPA, which met with faculty last year and worked with them in creating the designs.

"When the end users are part of the design process, it's a formula for success," said Richard Pagel, vice president of administrative services.

The complex is also the campus' first LEED-certified building, Pagel said of its environmental certification.

The complex replaces an older row of buildings, which were built in the 1950s and were at the "last of their useful life," Pagel said.

They were demolished about three years ago to make way for the project. The new complex is outfitted with $6 million in state-of-the-art lab equipment.

The buildings continue to service the same departments as they had before, said Kevin Ballinger, dean of consumer health and sciences, who oversees allied health programs as well as consumer sciences and design.

Ballinger had himself sat in the old dilapidated classrooms, first as a student and then as a teacher, in the 1970s.

The new labs and equipment in each of the buildings match what the students will find in their chosen fields, better preparing them for life after college, he said.

"I'm pleased as I can be," Ballinger said.

Information: http://www.orangecoastcollege.edu

If You Go

What: Grand Opening of Orange Coast College's ABC Complex

When: 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday

Where: 2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa

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