Saddleback to move forward with the Gateway building

(Photo Credit: Saddleback College’s Website)

On Wednesday, Dec. 15, Saddleback hosted a ceremony to celebrate the brand-new Gateway Building coming in the Fall of 2023. The facility will be located near the Medical Drive entrance on campus. 


In partnership with the HED Design company, Saddleback plans to move towards a more modern atmosphere for the project. The building will be modeled after an Apple Store and hopes to provide a more streamlined system for students seeking academic advice. 


Inside you will find a “help bar” where students will be able to queue appointments instead of waiting in lines to receive help. Rather than desks and closed offices, open waiting areas and furniture will replace the old system. 


Saddleback President Elliot Stern was able to give his vision for the new project. 


“Those with broad questions or unsure where to start quickly identify the Genius Bar and head that way. They may be greeted as they make their way to their destination,” Stern said. “They are welcomed at the desk for the service unit of interest and put on the digital queuing system. If there is a wait, they can relax on comfy furniture or study until they’re called back to the help desk by text.”


The building aims to make student processes less of a transaction and more like a relation. Human connection is the core of the new system being installed. Face-to-face help and access to resources are what students will find when entering the building. 


“All interactions are warm, welcoming and respectful. The student feels cared for, not like a student ID number,” Stern said. “We want everything about Gateway—the design, the interactions and the support processes–to feel more like being in a high-end retail environment and less like being in a DMV office.”


Financial aid and academic advising offices will be moved into the Gateway building once construction is finished. This will make it easy for students to get connected with counselors, financial aid advisors or college representatives quickly. 


“Gateway is the new, ultra-modern, one-stop center for most student services. It will sit in between Health Sciences and BGS,” Stern said. “Most student supports currently in the Saddleback Student Center will move to Gateway.”


The first floor of the building will have the “genius bar” where students will enter if they need advice. The second floor exits into the quad so students are able to get to their next destination. Lastly, the third floor will feature state-of-the-art classrooms with state-of-the-art technology to give students new learning techniques. 


Saddleback isn’t stopping with just the Gateway project. Stern also gave an update on what else students and faculty can expect for the future. 


“Well, ATAS will be complete in the next few months and will likely open for “second-half” spring semester classes,” Stern said. “Gateway will take a year and a half to build. Before Gateway finishes, we will begin construction of the replacement building for Science and Math, mostly for Computer Science classes.”


For more information visit Saddleback’s website for updates on the building.