Orange Coast College was formed after local voters passed a measure in the January 1947 election to establish a new junior college on a 243-acre (0.98 km2) site, secured from the War Assets Administration in Washington, D.C, and part of the 1,300-acre (5.3 km2) deactivated Santa Ana Army Air Base.
The first official District board of trustees hired the college's founding president and district superintendent, Basil Hyrum Peterson, on July 28, 1947. Construction of campus classrooms and facilities began when Dr. Peterson hired Fran Albers as the college's carpenter in February 1948. Albers' crew of 35 workers (mostly Coast football players paid 60 cents an hour) turned an Army movie theatre into an auditorium and concert hall; a service club into a 500-seat gymnasium; an Army chapel into a facility for theatre productions and student/staff weddings; a military storage building into a library; an Army PX into a student center; a battalion headquarters building into an administration building; and several cadet barracks into student dormitories and married student and faculty housing.
The first campus building phase occurred in the early 1950s, when renowned architect Richard Neutra was brought in to re-design the campus. Leaving many of the original buildings intact, Neutra added several modernist structures including the strikingly minimalist Campus Theater and two large lecture halls. These were laid out on a 45-degree angle to the city street grid, in much the same manner as The Parkinsons' layout of USC. The second and largest building phase occurred in the 1970s, when local architect William Blurock was hired to replace many of the original Army buildings with structures more suitable for educational purposes.
In December 2002, Rabbit Island, a 38-acre (150,000 m2) island located in the North Gulf Islands of the Georgia Strait 50 miles (80 km) west of the city of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada, was donated to the Orange Coast College Foundation. Since then the OCC Foundation, using funds designated for the Orange Coast College School of Sailing & Seamanship, has refurbished the facilities on the island, made significant capital improvements, and has helped fund the use of the island as a field station to teach summer classes in Island Ecology, Biological Diversity, Vertebrate Biology, Intertidal Ecology, kayaking, and photography. It is now referred to as "Wheeler Station" at Rabbit Island (in honor of the donor, Henry Wheeler). OCC marine science and biology instructors have used the island to conduct research on species diversity, standing stock, species distribution, and oceanography. Plans were underway to find separate funding for the island outside of OCC. Possible funding sources included the National Science Foundation, rental of the island facilities to Canadians, funding from the Associated Students of OCC (ASOCC), and through other foundation grants and private donations. In March 2007, the Orange Coast College Foundation Board of Directors voted to sell the island after determining that keeping and maintaining it was unfeasible. As of July 2007, the island was in talks to be sold to a private party for 2.41 million dollars. However, the sale did not materialize and the island was sold in March 2008 to a privately held Canadian corporation for 2.19 million dollars.
In 2015, a plan is in effect to remove the early Neutra buildings in the center of the campus and open up a large central park around which both the outlying 1970s buildings and several newer buildings will be clustered.
Orange Coast College (OCC) is a public community college in Costa Mesa in Orange County, California. It was founded in 1947, with its first classes opening in the fall of 1948. It provides Associate of Art and Associate of Science degrees, certificates of achievement, and lower-division classes transferable to other colleges and universities. The school enrolls approximately 24,000 undergraduate students. In terms of population size, Orange Coast College is the third largest college in Orange County.
|Avg Cost of Tuition/Year||US$ 0|
|Cost of Living/Year||US$ 14,300|
|Application Fee||US$ 0|
|Estimated Total/Year||US$ 0|