The Educational Cultural Complex expansion known as the Skills Center currently houses San Diego Community College’s Educational and Cultural Complex. The original building was designed with strong community involvement in 1972. Reflecting the original design, as well as respecting the neighborhood, the addition continues, if not amplifies, the current park-like feel of the existing structure and site, breathing new life into this area of town that has experienced few opportunities for growth over the years. The 67,000 SF three single story buildings will house the Auto Body and Automobile Repair program that is being relocated from a downtown site, as well as the Graphics, Appliance Repair, Electronic Assembly, Office Skills, and Computer Network Cabling programs.

The new building, which is being designed to achieve LEED certification, addressed the problems of theft and vandalism by utilizing glass block instead of windows for natural light, and uses operable windows only in the secured areas of the campus. The building is designed in masonry block that reflects the original community designed structure. Additionally, the campus has required a reworking of the parking lot and walkways, now designed to ADA compliance, while keeping the integrity of the much beloved lawn space that is the focus for graduation ceremonies.


Location: San Diego, California

District: San Diego Community College District

Size: 67,000 SF

Cost: $16.3 M

Completion: 2008

Awards: Award of Merit, Community College Facility Coalition (CCFC); LEED Gold Certified