A challenge grant of $150,000 from the Harry G. Steele Foundation has moved Orange Coast College considerably closer to its goal of building a new addition to the college's Rowing and Sailing Base on Coast Highway.
The community college's goal is to raise $350,000, totally from private sources, to expand the popular rowing-sailing facility.
College officials said the Steele Foundation grant is one of the largest cash gifts ever made to Orange Coast. The foundation, which has its headquarters in Newport Beach, has supported numerous community building projects, including the Orange County Sea Explorer Base and the recently completed Performing Arts Center.
The challenge grant for the Rowing and Sailing Base means that the college must find other donors to match the $150,000 over the next year. "I am confident we can raise the funds . . . ," said David Grant, the college's director of marine programs.
Grant said the expansion of the facility will include two large classrooms and an upper deck for celestial navigation classes. A boat-repair workshop also is to be built.