In the fall of 1964, Cuesta College held its first classes in drafty World War II surplus barracks and mess halls at what had been a portion of Camp San Luis Obispo.
Built during wartime, the stopgap construction was 20 years old — and without frills.
Confronting mud in the winter and stifling heat in the summer, the 463 students and their teachers made the best of a relatively primitive situation.
Voters had approved the formation of the community college district on April 16, 1963, to serve the county’s seven public high school districts. Before then, the junior college was an extension of San Luis Obispo High School.
As Cuesta celebrates its 50th anniversary, folks with long memories recall that current campus construction began in 1970 across Chorro Creek from the original site. A 105-acre North County campus was added in Paso Robles in 1998. Classes are also offered at Arroyo Grande High School.
Today’s enrollment? About 9,500 registered students.