Representatives from Orange Coast College and the Coast Community College District came together Monday for a groundbreaking ceremony for Orange Coast College’s new Maritime Training Center.

The new center is located across Pacific Coast Highway from the College's Sailing and Rowing Base on Newport Harbor. The center is being built above ground-level parking and will be connected to OCC's harbor-side facility by a skyway bridge over Pacific Coast Highway.

The $22 million, two-story, 12,000-square-foot project is funded by the Measure M bond fund passed by voters in 2012.

Construction will be complete in fall 2021 and will be the new home for OCC's growing Professional Mariner Program for students pursuing careers in boating and maritime related fields. Beyond classrooms, the facility will include a state-of-the-art laboratory space, a full mission bridge simulator, a radar training room, conference room and a student lounge.

According to Brad Avery, OCC's director of Marine Programs, the new building represents a major leap forward for OCC's boating education programs.

"When completed and connected to our waterfront facility, we will have a fully integrated maritime education center," Avery said. "This helps us greatly in our mission of helping students acquire the knowledge and skills required for success in a variety of maritime careers."

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