room of people with a speaker at the podium

TUSTIN, CA – On Wednesday, March 1, 2023, the South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees officially broke ground on the Saddleback College @ ATEP site located at the Advanced Technology and Education Park (ATEP) in Tustin.

Looming inclement weather did not deter eager attendees from joining the ceremony. Some very important guests included staff from Congresswoman Young Kim’s office, Tustin City Council members and executives, staff from the construction and architecture firms of the project, business and community partners, and faculty, staff, and students of Saddleback College, Irvine Valley College, and District Services.

“Making ATEP a successful public-private partnership providing pathways to in-demand jobs has been a top priority for me since I joined the Board. Saddleback College @ ATEP is a long-awaited project that both the Both of Trustees and the SOCCCD community have been anticipating for years. The strong attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony is demonstrative of cross-sector support that this project has ignited that range from the City of Tustin to entrepreneurs in the automotive and food service industries,” said Board of Trustees President Timothy Jemal. “Saddleback College @ ATEP will provide students with an opportunity to engage in premier course offerings from talented faculty in the fields of auto tech and culinary arts. Additionally, students will be exposed to industry leaders and companies that can offer coveted internships and job opportunities."

The Saddleback @ ATEP Project will include a state-of-the-art Culinary Arts program, logistics program and Advanced Automotive Program. The Culinary Arts space will be comprised of three restaurant quality kitchens, a public restaurant, and coffee/bakery bar.

The Advanced Automotive program will include four instructional classrooms and state-of-the-art laboratories.

The Project site will be 49,844 gross square feet located within the 61.4-acre ATEP site that is planned to be developed with education-oriented and general office use building space in the county central location of Tustin.

The Project is designed to meet LEED Gold Equivalency and includes installation of solar panels on the rooftops of the buildings, which is estimated to generate approximately 33 percent of the electricity needs of the project.

multiple views of ATEP SC campus


About the South Orange County Community College District: SOCCCD serves more than 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 2,500 faculty and staff.

Read more at Saddleback@ATEP