The History of Red Mountain

In 2001, Mesa Community College built the Red Mountain Campus on 98 acres in a somewhat remote, but growing section of northeast Mesa, Arizona. Environmental stewardship was an integral part of the campus culture from the very beginning. The student population increased steadily, and community partnerships developed that allowed students to explore science-related careers. The campus continuously receives many awards and accolades for plant and wildlife conservation efforts, providing students with unique learning opportunities. Explore the history of the campus below.


The district governing board approved the Master Plan for the Red Mountain Campus, with phase 1 set to open in 2001.


Phase I construction began for Red Mountain Campus, which included four buildings: the Desert Willow Bldg. (library & commons), Mesquite Bldg. (student & administrative services), Palo Verde Bldg. (classrooms & laboratories), and the Ironwood Bldg. (central plant). A groundbreaking ceremony was held in April.


Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting for Red Mountain campus in East Mesa was held on October 3rd.  The buildings were Desert Willow (Library), Mesquite (Student and Administrative Services), Palo Verde (Classrooms and Laboratories), and Ironwood (Central Plant).


First Red Mountain Campus Career Fair.


More than 27,000 students were in credit courses college-wide at Mesa Community College; the new Red Mountain campus, located in northeast Mesa, welcomed 3,700 of those students.


Open house for the new student lounge in Acacia Village at MCC Red Mountain campus.


A $951 million bond issue was approved by a more than 2-to-1 margin by Maricopa County voters. MCC's portion of the proceeds was set at $111 million: $60 million to Southern and Dobson, $20 million for Red Mountain, $21 million for technology, and $10 million for the Downtown Center.


Electronic marquees were erected at Southern and Dobson and Red Mountain campuses. The full color, fiber optic marquees display streaming video, and is another tool to promote MCC's programs and services to the community.


Completed construction and opened the 43,000 square-foot Saguaro building at MCC’s Red Mountain Campus. The Saguaro building supports life science and performing arts programs.


The Red Mountain Campus dedicated a newly-constructed native wetland, called a cienega, in the central courtyard of the environmentally-friendly campus. The area will be used as a demonstration project that illustrates how reclaimed water can be used to create a riparian habitat for native species as well as mitigate storm water runoff to protect Arizona's natural riparian areas. The ribbon-cutting ceremony featured the release of the initial stock of Arizona-native Longfin Dace minnows into the cienega.


MCC's Red Mountain Campus celebrated its 10th anniversary. At the Downtown Center, the Virtual Incident Command Center opened and offers state-of-the-art customizable simulations.


MCC at Red Mountain received the North American Native Plant Society’s (NANPS) 2014 Founders Conservation Award.


Mesa Community College’s Red Mountain Campus was recognized by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) with a Certified Wildlife Habitat designation as part of its Garden for Wildlife program.


MCC Red Mountain Campus celebrated its 15th Anniversary.


MCC alumnus Ryan Alarie established a Farmers Market at MCC Red Mountain, inviting the community to the campus and contributing a percentage of his revenue from the Farmers Market toward student scholarships.


MCC student Ariana Granger won a $1,000 scholarship in Whataburger’s WhataBigIdea contest for her idea of establishing a community garden at MCC Red Mountain to grow fresh produce for students struggling with food insecurity.


On May 2, 2019, MCC’s Nurse Assisting program moved from the Southern and Dobson Campus to the college’s Red Mountain Campus. A new, 1,646-square-foot facility, created by a renovation of the Acacia Village building, featured a 10-bed laboratory for student training.


The Early College Academy program was added.


The endangered Gila Topminnows at the MCC Red Mountain Campus reached a level healthy enough to serve as a source to stock other bodies of water throughout the state.


The MCC Red Mountain Campus becomes a source of plant seeds for the Maricopa Native Seed Library, free to students and the community.


Olivia Bromenschenkel and Abbygale Gurr were just two examples of students in the Early College Academy offered at the MCC Red Mountain Campus who completed college courses while still in high school.

If you see any inaccuracies please contact Nate Keen, MCC Web Services Coordinator at