The Heights

Updated: September 12, 2016

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Foothill College going high tech in Sunnyvale

If you have lived in Silicon Valley for any length of time, you fondly remember the old Blue Cube, which was located in Moffett Business Park, just off Highway 237. The Cube, formally known as Onizuka Air Station, was decommissioned in 2007 and torn down just over a year ago to make way for the state-of-the-art Foothill College Sunnyvale Center.

Opening this fall, the nearly 50,000 square-foot center will focus on emerging skills, as well as entry-level, in-demand fields. Interim President Kimberlee Messina says the opening of the center could not come at a more critical time. “There is a growing gap between the needs of employers and the skills of the country’s workforce, leaving far too many quality jobs unfilled in critical areas of our economy. This is especially concerning for the millions of students attending community colleges because the skills needed by America's businesses do not always align with those taught at today's institutions of higher education,” she says. “We are confident that through partnerships with nearby companies, we can match students with the skills needed by local employers.”

Viewable from the 237 freeway, the Sunnyvale Center is a state-of-the-art LEED Gold Certified building, comprised of 17 classroom spaces, two dedicated computer labs, a 3-D printing lab, café, bookstore, and student resource center. Located within Moffett Business Park, the new center is close to several VTA bus and light rail lines and is within driving distance to several South Bay cities, including Mountain View, Sunnyvale, San Jose, Milpitas, and Fremont.

Classes will be offered throughout the day, including a track beginning at 4 p.m., perfect for current high school students and working professionals. An innovative partnership with neighboring Mission College will allow us to offer a wide variety of classes. The center will also have a full complement of student services so students won’t need to travel back and forth from the main Los Altos Hills campus.

To honor the history of the site, Foothill will integrate historical information and artifacts into the new facility. “Among the directions that we gave to the architects was that, recognizing the iconic status of the Blue Cube in the history of Silicon Valley, we wanted to incorporate some element that would actually express what we've referred to as our homage to the Blue Cube, and so there is an architectural element that is indeed a cube that will be blue glass," says Judy Miner, Foothill-De Anza Community College District Chancellor. "We have saved a lot of the exterior elements, such as the tile mural that was originally located at the front of the building."

To learn more and register for classes, visit the Sunnyvale Center website.

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