New building brings hopeful expectations for Communications majors
by Ivan Delgado
Construction on the new Communications building kicked off with the celebratory groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 10 a.m. The ceremony took place at College of the Desert, across the courtyard from the Cravens Student Services Center.
The ceremony began with a speech by President Jerry Patton, who acknowledged that the new building was a part of the Measure B bond project that was passed in 2004. Measure B has provided funding for projects such as the Cravens Student Services Center, the Barker Nursing Complex, and the East Valley Campus in Mecca. The purpose of the bond measure is to update the facilities on the aging campus for decades to come.
“These facility improvements have offered the first major upgrade since the college was built,” said Patton, “We have architects busy designing a new fine arts building, a new campus in downtown Indio, and a new campus in Palm Springs”.
Jerry Patton was followed by Tony Disalvo, Dean of Communications and Humanities, along with a few Communications major students. The first student was Ellis Rodriguez, who is currently enrolled in American Sign Language 3, and President of the American Sign Language Club. Ruben Ramirez, former COD student applying for a Master’s degree in creative writing in various schools across the country. “I encourage the hearing individuals who are students at COD to learn our language, so that we can enjoy as much associations support as we can,” signed Rodriguez.
The Communications building is set to house programs such as English Composition, English as a Second Language, Literature, Reading, and Speech Communication. The building will also provide language courses which include French, German, Italian, Japanese, and American Sign Language. According to Tony Disalvo, the new Communications building will bring the English teaching faculty under one roof, “providing an updated office space, and sorely needed meeting rooms for both the full time and adjunct faculty.”
There will be four computer assisted Language Arts classrooms, 20 technologically enhanced general classrooms, and several dedicated spaces for showcasing the many accomplishments and successes of students at COD.
Site preparation has already begun on the 35,500 square foot building, and it is one of several Phase One projects paid for by the $346.5 million bond issue. This project however, is estimated to cost $17.3 million, and will complete in the Spring of 2013. By law, bond proceeds can only be used for facilities, and cannot be used to help offset the more recent state budget cuts to operations.