Vernal pools at miramar college

The Vernal Pools at Miramar College are home to the federally endangered species of San Diego Fairy Shrimp. The soft-boddied crustacean only grows to about an inch long and is known for swimming upside down, propelled by 11 sets of legs.

Inspired spaces - Best spots on campus

January 31, 2020 | San Diego Community College District

In the rush to get to class, sometimes it's nice to slow down and enjoy the views.

Ask San Diego Community College District Architect Lance Lareau what his favorite space is among the District’s various campuses and he will tell you that is like asking him to choose a favorite child — it is too difficult to call out just one.

Lareau, who has worked at the District since 2006, said one of the biggest challenges of his job is to figure out how to get students to stay on campus and collaborate — especially at community colleges where students are traditionally commuting.  “As architects, we try to create spaces that are cool, inspirational, and nice to hang out in,” he said. “It’s a thoughtful process.”

Look around City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges, or any one of Continuing Education’s seven campuses and you will find much more than just classroom spaces. According to Lareau, there are spaces for individuals, small groups, and big groups both indoors and out, and it is his job “to make the space a space you want to be.”

Whether it’s enjoying skyline views from the City College’s lush Seeds@City Urban Farm, people watching in the lobby of Continuing Education’s Mid-City Campus, grabbing a bite to eat at Mesa Commons, or learning about endangered San Diego Fairy Shrimp in the Vernal Pools at Miramar College, here are some favorite spaces around the SDCCD.

Seeds at City urban farm
San Diego City College’s Seeds@City Urban Farm
a rabbit in the garden at seeds at city
A rabbit in the garden at the Seeds@City Urban Farm


Ciy College planetarium
The Spitz SciDomeHD Planetarium at City College.
The geo garden at mesa college
The Geo Garden at the Math and Science Complex at San Diego Mesa College.
Students walk by Mesa Commons
Mesa Commons is a student hub that houses Mesa College’s culinary arts labs and classrooms, a cafeteria and food court, campus bookstore, convenience store, coffee café, faculty and student lounge spaces, and conference rooms. 
Mesa Commons sign
Mesa Commons at Mesa College.


A biological study pond at Miramar College
Joanna Aud is an Instructional Lab Technician and is responsible for maintaining The Boiological Study Pond at Miramar College.
fish in the pond at Miramar College
The Boiological Study Pond at Miramar College.
A rock fountain at Miramar College
A fountain located at the Leave a Legacy Courtyard (near police station) at Miramar College. SDCCD architect Lance Lareau believes this is the only fountain on any of the district's campuses.
Mid-City Campus lobby
San Diego Continuing Education's Mid-City campus lobby is a great place to relax, study, or just people-watch.
Mid-City Campus lobby
Mid-City campus lobby.
Rooftop at Cesar Chavez campus
The rooftop at Continuing Education's Cesar Chavez campus is a great place to socialize and see the San Diego skyline.
The Tree of Life mosaic at the ECC campus
The Tree of Life mosaic at the south entrance of the Educational Cultural Complex was created by noted sculptor James T. Hubbell. The artwork consists of 33 reinforced panels bolted to the outer wall, each made up of glass, stone, and clay tiles measuring 22 feet by 12 feet and weighs 4,000 pounds.

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