College Center

OCC's College Center, along with the Student Union, will serve as host to Unified Command that is responding to the recent oil spill off the Huntington Beach coast. 

Orange Coast College will serve as the command post for the Huntington Beach oil spill response Unified Command team, according to school officials. The Unified Command team is composed of personnel from the U.S. Coast Guard and other state and local organizations, as part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan to confront crises. 

“As you are aware, Gov. Newsom proclaimed a State of Emergency on Oct. 4 to support the emergency response to the oil spill in Orange County,” said OCC President Angelica Suarez in an email to faculty and staff on Oct. 11. “As part of providing support for State, County and other local response agencies, Orange Coast College will serve as the site for the Unified Command team.”

The command team will be using banquet space currently unused due to the COVID-19 pandemic to house their operations. Additionally, conference rooms in the new Student Union building will be used for press briefings about the oil spill clean up response. 

“Really, it came down to a question of location and having ample space,” OCC Director of Marketing and Public Relations Juan Gutierrez said. 

According to Gutierrez, over 200 clean up personnel were at OCC Monday, with even California Senator Alex Padilla making a visit to tour the facilities. 

Gutierrez said that because of the “moving parts” involved in the clean up response, OCC is expecting to accommodate the Unified Command team for a month. In her email, Suarez expressed gratitude for the OCC team who helped minimize disruptions to activities, programs and services while taking this important step to help the community. 

“We try to be good partners with the community,” Gutierrez said. “We’re lucky to have the space to be of service, especially at this time.”

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