Orange Coast College

Costa Mesa,

Student Union And Culinary Arts Programming

In 2014 B&D was contracted by Orange Coast College to assess the space needs for a new student union. The proposed project was developed to not only replace the existing student center and support campus life, but also to be the hub of campus activity and house the college’s hospitality programs, including culinary arts, culinology / food science, food service management, and hospitality travel and tourism. To complete this programming work, we examined the union plan with respect to programmatic uses, functional adjacencies, and space allocation. The data gleaned from those analyses framed the key drivers for the outline program. Methodologies used in the ensuing study included:

• Stakeholder meetings with faculty and staff to understand program elements and service requirements
• Student focus groups to understand interest and support for potential program elements and improvements
• A needs assessment survey to gain quantitative data on activity and space needs
• Our proprietary Demand-Based Programming to identify the union’s space needs
• An outline program of spaces within the union
• Development of an adjacency matrix for program elements in the union

We presented a program that responded to both institutional goals and the campus community’s needs. The proposed program for this 185,000 GSF building included space allocations for academics (30%), retail (28%), student community conference services (12%), student activities and services (25%); and support / exterior programs (5%). Additionally, we developed outline programs and space requirements for student services, counseling, and administrative functions. These programs were then utilized to plan the renovation of Watson Hall and the College Administration Building.


Orange Coast College students will get a new $70 million Student Union complex by 2016 and the new facility will have plenty of room for students to chill out.