On May 8, Los Angeles Harbor College (LAHC) celebrated the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the school’s new Student Union building in Wilmington, California.  In attendance at the event were HMC Architects’ Ken Salyer and Brett Leavitt as well as representatives from the LAHC and Los Angeles Community College District.

The student union is a 59,000 square foot, state-of-the-art learning and social hub for students. It will encourage interaction between the students, staff, and faculty to strengthen a relationship that extends beyond the limits of the traditional classroom. The building is home to the LAHC’s Culinary Arts Program as well as campus book store, dining hall, student government offices, and a multi-purpose room for a common gathering space. The intentional design unites the existing campus buildings while establishing itself as a unique member of the growing campus. Mark Al-Soufi, the College’s Project Director said, “This facility builds community and creates an identity for the college.”

As home to the school’s culinary arts program, the building features two industrial sized kitchens -one for baking and one for cooking- and two auditorium style classrooms. The building also features a small bistro where student chefs cook and serve meals to visiting guests. The large kitchens, classrooms, and bistro space will allow students to learn the technical and business sides of the culinary industry.  Marie Madrid, the College’s Chef Instructor said, “The spaciousness allows the students to grow as individuals and chefs. I feel our students have the ability to grow farther than they did before.”