by Terrah Starling
During the summer of 2012, construction on improvements to the Monterey Avenue entrance to College of the Desert will begin. The $3.5 million project is currently in the schematic design phase.
The commonly used entrance has many well-known problems and is in need of renovation. For example, those entering the school from Monterey Avenue tend to get stuck in traffic back-ups, caused by short roads, during high-traffic hours.
The plans for the area are to widen each road and create more lanes, cutting down on traffic back-ups. A College of the Desert sign and directory will be placed in front of the entrance. The directory will point the way to buildings and locations of classes.
A traffic circle will be constructed as well, creating a raised area to pick up and drop off students. The current, outdated parking lot will be turned into a plaza for students to use to study, talk and enjoy the scenery. Space for fire trucks to pull into and back out of during emergencies will also be added.
Around the new student quad will be shaded spaces, benches and a walkway which will all come to be known as the “Walk Of Excellence.” Another new addition to the campus will be a garden placed in front of the “Fountain Of Knowledge”.
Current tree wells will be turned into benches. Outlets will be available at each bench for students with electronic gadgets.
The goal is to have more shade and more seating for students who want to be outdoors. “Maybe even space will be created for a coffee cart or another Solutions stand,” says Steve Renew, Maintenance and Operations Director of Business Affairs, but that is not promised. Renew also states that the space is, “a place to recognize the quality of people who come to COD.”
Construction should be completed in the spring of 2013.