LEMOORE, Calif. (KFSN) --A local band helped kick off the celebration of a brand new place for students, faculty, and staff to relax, study, and catch a bite to eat. The new student union at West Hills College Lemoore fills a void that many here have been feeling since the school began gaining in popularity several years ago.
"This is awesome; it's a monumental moment for us. We have been waiting since I've come to West Hills," said Andrea Wood, ASB President.
"I think having a facility like this is definitely going to bring students together and experience all this together," said Robert Leon, student.
West Hills' Lemoore campus was accredited in 2007 and now has more than 4,000 students. Administrators said the $22-million building, paid for by a local bond measure, can now service a lot of student needs.
"We have quite a few students who ride the bus here. They start getting here at 6:45 in the morning, and on a morning like today where it was below freezing and foggy, students need a place to, you know, hang out," said Kristen Clark, President of WHC-Lemoore.
There is a campus store, plenty of places to lounge or study, plug in and use the computer or even get help from office staff-- plus free Wi-Fi and hot food.
"I think more students will spend time here in between classes, where before they probably left and got in their car or sat in their car to eat lunch. And hopefully they'll hang out here and hopefully make some new friends and engage in student life," said Clark.
Wood said she's most excited about the ASB space and conference room and hopes the building will create a better sense of community for students at West Hills College Lemoore.
"Our ASB offices-- it's super cool, we've never had our own place. We can host our own meetings there, we can host events in this building-- it's really exciting."
Officials still have a few more additions to make to the student union. They will be adding flat screen TV's over the next few months.