Those living out west now have a college campus all their own.
Today, Palm Beach State College opened its fifth campus on Southern Boulevard in Loxahatchee Groves.
Palm Beach State College leaders decided they needed to invest out west because of the growing population.
Now potential students only have to drive minutes to class instead of 30 to 45 minutes to get to other campuses.
Enrollment for this semester is still open.
“Our goal is to make education affordable and accessible,” said Dr. Maria Vallejo, the provost of the college.
Vallejo said this latest addition was a decade in the making. “To see it finally come to fruition is very exciting,” she said.
The school's Loxahatchee campus was built to serve the growing western communities, including Wellington, Royal Palm Beach and Loxahatchee.
“The need for a college would be very, very necessary here,” said Vallejo. “When you look at the entire county, eventually this is going to be the center of the county.”
For now, the campus is all in a three-story, 50,000 square foot building, where there’s everything from learning labs to a café and admissions.
“As the campus grows, some of those functions, and the population of students grows would be housed in some of the future buildings,” explained James Storms, the project manager.
“We tried to be very sensitive to the amount of trees we disrupted and that we set the building in such a way in that we didn't have to take any of the natural woods down in order to build it,” explained Storms.
The goal in the coming years is to construct two more buildings on the 75 acres, and by next year, more than double enrollment.
“We expect that by next September we'll have 1,500 students here,” said Vallejo.
Tomorrow, is the school's grand opening celebration at 4 p.m. The campus will be named after Dr. Dennis Gallon, a retired president of the college.