C.W. Driver Companies, a premier builder serving California since 1919, today announced the completion of the new Waugh Student Center at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa. Located at the heart of the campus, the new 35,000-square-foot interior and 7,500-square-foot exterior deck, two-story, steel-frame student center creates a space for all students – undergraduate and graduate, residential and commuter – to grow academically and spiritually.

Within the Waugh Student Center, students, faculty and staff have access to a 3,300 square-foot food service area with all-day and late-night options as well as an 8,000-square-foot common dining room. There is also a 3,000-square-foot fitness center and an 8,000-square-foot recreational center that can be converted into meeting and event space to accommodate 880 people for lectures or 480 for catered functions. Serving as an extension of the classroom experience, the new student center features a multitude of spacious areas equipped with power outlets and charging stations for studying, trellised roof deck with fireplace and two-story outdoor dining and gathering area to foster community interaction.

“We were charged with creating a student center that not only serves the current population but would support Vanguard’s goal to grow more than 25 percent,” said Tom Jones, project executive at C.W. Driver Companies. “Leveraging our expertise in higher education, we recognized the need to incorporate more amenities that would bring to life the university’s vision of a modernized student union that is welcoming and flexible for its immediate needs as well as future growth.”

The new building, designed by HPI Architecture, incorporates a traditional Santa Barbara style including a smooth plaster finish, metal panels and clay tile roof to complement the existing architecture on campus.

“Opening this building in conjunction with our 100th anniversary celebration demonstrates our commitment to providing generations of students with facilities that match our top-quality education rooted in our Christian foundation,” said Michael J. Beals, Ph.D., president of Vanguard University. “The new Waugh Student Center’s extensive amenities provide an exceptional learning environment and creates a space for students, alumni, faculty and staff to unite and find community and their true calling.”

The Waugh Student Center marks the first project in a 30-year campus enhancement plan to reshape Vanguard’s 38-acre campus at 55 Fair Drive. The master plan, approved by the Costa Mesa City Council in Feb. 2019, focuses on 12 separate projects including a 300-bed dormitory, four-level parking structure and the replacement of the gymnasium, science, technology, engineering, math and kinesiology facilities.

Founded in 1920, Vanguard University is a private, Christian university offering liberal arts and professional studies serving more than 2,100 students through its undergraduate, graduate and professional studies programs. It has been ranked in the top 10 among the best baccalaureate colleges in the west by U.S. News & World Report since 2010 and was named a 2014 “Best in the West” college by The Princeton Review.

Other notable higher education projects by C.W. Driver Companies include Chapman University’s Keck Center for Science and Engineering; Cal Poly Pomona’s Student Services Building; California State University San Bernardino’s Student Housing & Dining Commons and Biola University’s Center for Science, Technology & Health.


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