student high-fiving a teacher

(Photo credit: The Goddard School)

Goddard School—educational school and childcare facility to be built on South Orange County Community College District ATEP campus in Tustin

MISSION VIEJO, CA  – The South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD) Board of Trustees recently approved a ground lease with PJRJPA Venture LLC to build a Goddard School on the District’s Advanced Technology and Education Park (ATEP) located in the Tustin Legacy area.

The ground lease approval kick-starts the construction of a 14,400 square foot educational preschool with ancillary childcare services, outdoor play areas, a parking lot, and associated infrastructure improvements. The project site consists of 1.44 acres within the approximately 61.4-acre ATEP site. The school is planning to open Fall 2023.

“The Goddard School has a great reputation of being an exemplary educational environment for infants, toddlers, and young children before entering kindergarten,” said SOCCCD Chancellor Julianna M. Barnes,Ed.D. “Given the childcare needs that have increased as a result of the pandemic, the Board of Trustees proudly supported an additional early childhood education facility option in the area for families.”

The presence of the Goddard School adjacent to the community college campus will provide opportunities for learning and development for both the children in attendance and the community college students.

Per the ground lease, PJRJPA will be required to support educational opportunities including, among others, scholarships; the placement of students in classrooms for observation/practicum or an unpaid internship; and tuition discounts for children of SOCCCD students.

“All such educational opportunities will serve to strengthen the ties between student and faculty communities, while providing related support for a diverse student and faculty membership that directly furthers the District’s express purpose, work, and operations,” said Vice Chancellor of Business Services, Ann-Marie Gabel.

With proximity to shopping, transportation, and medical services, the Goddard School is primed to be an accessible location that can address vital childcare needs for Tustin and surrounding areas for years to come.

Marcia Milchiker, the President of the Governing Board, noted, “Our board has long envisioned that our Public/ Private Partnership, ATEP, would become an outstanding educational asset to our students, our greater Tustin community, and beyond. As a research biologist I know that 90 percent of a child’s brain develops by age 5. Data proves that these years matter in shaping a child’s future success. The Goddard school is accredited to serve young children, just as our community colleges have attained topmost accreditation to serve our students. The Goddard school will offer discounts to children of our students and staff. This benefit to our community is important to us. Two of my sons attended the Saddleback College Pre-School while I was a Saddleback student. This has made all the difference in their lives. We care about our staff, students, and community and are delighted to bring another top-ranked educational institution to Tustin.”

The primary period of the ground lease is for 75 years, with a one-time right to extend the primary period of the lease for an additional 24 years, for a total of 99 years.


About the South Orange County Community College District: SOCCCD serves nearly 50,000 students per year through our two colleges, Saddleback College and Irvine Valley College. The district serves nearly one million residents and employs more than 3,000 faculty and staff. To learn more, visit

Read more at The Goddard School