Hundreds of San Diego Christian College (SDCC) students, alumni, family, friends, faculty and supporters came out to their new Santee campus at the RiverView Professional Center Saturday morning for a ribbon cutting and open house.
Prayers were said over the new campus, a ribbon was cut and students from the college's aviation degree program flew overhead.
The buildings the college will inhabit are currently empty, except for various classroom, office and study area displays set up to give an idea of what the college will be. The display decor gives a comfortable futurisitic feel (see photos). One of the purposes of the event was to drum up financial support to transform the buildings into a college campus.
According to plans described at the February 2012 City Council meeting where the college permit was approved, the school will begin moving its campus into the complex at Town Center, starting with adult classes, transitioning the whole campus in time. They will use five of the six empty buildings in the complex for classrooms, a bookstore, chapel and administration offices, and will be purchasing the buildings. 475 students and 28 faculty will be using the site by the end of 2013, according to those plans.
Santee Mayor Randy Voepel was there to welcome the college to town and give his blessing. He originally had been in opposition of the move to Santee because he wanted property tax funds for the city that the nonprofit college won't be providing. After Redevelopment was nixed, the city began receiving much less of a share of property tax, and his tone changed. He referenced this during the speech, saying: "It will be something new for this city- godly human capital."
SDCC President Paul Ague has said the college would like to use this move as a chance to expand, possibly to as many as 1,200 students in the future. The campus sits adjacent to the future site of the two four-story and one five-story buildings that will make up the 172-unit "Parc One" apartment complex. 50 units of the project will be dedicated to student housing and SDCC has announced it is planning to construct its own apartments specifically for student housing.
Founded as Christian Heritage College in 1970, San Diego Christian College currently offers 15 degree programs. The college, which is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, is currently located at 2100 Greenfield Drive in El Cajon.