More than 600 students have begun classes at a new campus at Palm Beach State College in Loxahatchee Groves, Fla.

The new campus, the college's fifth, is named for the institution's retired fourth president, Dr. Dennis P. Gallon.

The first building to open on the Loxahatchee Groves campus is a three-story, 50,000-square-foot multipurpose facility with classrooms, computer labs and a 250-seat lecture hall.

“This has been a long time coming," says Dr. Maria Vallejo, vice president of growth and expansion and provost of the Belle Glade and Loxahatchee Groves campuses. "I’m absolutely thrilled to be a part of this important stage in our college’s history. We are here as a response to our community needs for higher education."

Gallon, who retired in 2015, is credited with having the idea to pursue expansion to Palm Beach County’s growing west-central area. The Loxahatchee Groves campus is Palm Beach's first new campus in more than 30 years.

The College’s master facilities plan calls for two additional buildings in the near future in this phase. The next two buildings would include labs, a library/study space, a cafeteria and study center.

Health sciences and technology, which are the focus of the first phase of the campus, will be offered later this year.