San Luis Obispo County Community College District, Cuesta College North County Campus Paso Robles, California

Firm: Phillips Metsch Sweeney Moore Architects

Design team: Fred L. Sweeney, AIA, Debra L. Smith, AIA, Anthony Palazzo, AIA; Ehlen & Spiess, Structural Engineering; Brummel, Myrick & Associates, Mechanical Engineering; Thoma Electric Co., Electrical Engineering & Telecommunications; Cannon Associates, Civil Engineering; Firma, Landscape Architecture; Community Colleges Services Group, Educational Planning Consultant

Client: San Luis Obispo County Community College District, Cuesta College; Marie Rossenwasser, Superintendent/President

Area: 105 acres

Total cost: $200 million (complete buildout of the facilities master plan)

Community and college staff members expressed a desire to have the new 105-acre campus capture the character, scale and spirit of 19th-century California architecture.

The buildings are situated using sustainable land-use practices. They are clustered around small open courts and large common areas. Buildings resemble the grain structures of the local farming community, and include colonnaded porches and low roof-lines of ranch adobes, and symmetrical facades similar to California's missions. Use of modern materials, such as concrete block, paned glass, red metal roofing and plaster help develop this interpretation.

To integrate a non-continuous portion of the site, which is across a major roadway, into the plan, the designers developed a pedestrian link down the center of the main and adjoining site. An overhead pedestrian crossing merged the two parcels into a cohesive campus.

The designs of the Learning Resource Center, Allied Health/Science/Math, and Trades & Technology Building support the new learning objectives outlined in the education plan, while maintaining the architectural character of the original campus.

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