South Mountain Community College students have started their school year on different grounds due to low, day-time class enrollment.

About 350 students who take night classes will be spending the fall and spring semesters back at Horizon Community Learning Center in Ahwatukee.

The college’s Ahwatukee center got its start at Horizon, opening in 1999. The college spent about nine years at Horizon’s campus before it found a space to lease in 2008, where it had been holding its courses.

“There was just no demand for day classes,” said Debbie Nicholson, coordinator of Student Services at South Mountain Community College. “It really wasn’t worth staying there.”

Though day-time classes usually are at a much lower demand compared to evening courses, Nicholson said the numbers were less than last year.

Despite the moving around, Nicholson said staff and students are happy to be at Horizon.

“The move is actually better to offer more evening classes,” said Nicholson, who mentioned the college utilizes about 14 classrooms.

The community college offers an administrative office for student enrollment, payments and advising.

In the future, Nicholson said she hopes the college can appeal to more day-time students once building can be started on land near 40th Street and Pecos Road.

South Mountain Community College Ahwatukee Foothills Center at Horizon Community Learning Center is located at 16233 S. 48th St.

Classes for the fall semester began Aug. 20.

For information or to enroll, visit or call (602) 243-8393.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4902 or

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