If the amount of construction equipment on campus at the local community college several months ago is any indication, Petaluma is about to get a whole lot smarter. Santa Rosa Junior College’s Petaluma Campus is in the throes of growth. The school’s most recent expansion gives the 6,000-student school capacity to teach 12,000 – and nobody doubts they’ll be able to fill the seats. Since its humble beginnings as an evening-class-only offshoot of SRJC in 1964, the Petaluma Campus has done nothing but grow. In 1985, the Board of Trustees purchased a 40-acre campus for the growing student body, and in 1995 the first phase of construction was completed. The Petaluma Center officially became a campus of SRJC in April 1999. The recent work on the second phase of construction yields a beautiful campus in harmony with the local culture and the environment: Contemporary adobe-style buildings, complete with red tile roofs, silently honor the region’s Spanish history. Underneath those red tile roofs, students can pursue associate’s degrees, professional certificates and transfer preparation programs for a variety of four-year majors. Local Petaluma students enrolling at SRJC are well prepared. Three Petaluma elementary schools, Meadow, Liberty and Grant, earned rankings of 10 from the educational resource Web site greatschools.net. In addition to high quality academics, Petaluma schools offer students enriching lessons in character and community through a variety of extra-classroom projects. For example, McKinley and La Tercera Elementary Schools are each home to a community garden, a project worked by the entire neighborhood to provide additional food and build relationships. Petaluma Bounty, an organization dedicated to creating a sustainable community food system, is spearheading the project. From a students’ early ages through their entry into the workforce, education in Petaluma is dedicated to the students and the community.