College of the Desert holds a ‘green council’ open forum at Pollock Theater
by Ivan Delgado
On Wednesday, Feb. 15, College of the Desert held a ‘green council’ open forum in the Pollock Theater, hosted by Facilities Services Director Steve Renew and Business Affairs Vice President Dr. Edwin Deas. The purpose of the council was to teach students how COD is adopting an affordable, realistic, and practical approach to planning a highly sustainable campus, which means a cleaner, greener COD in the western Coachella Valley.
The new campus will be built near downtown Palm Springs, accessible via Interstate 10 and the Indian Canyon exit. An annual report explaining the goals and completed projects will be open to the public by summer, 2012. The new campus will produce zero waste, sustainable hydrology, have a net-zero energy utilization, be carbon neutral, and sport ecological regeneration, unique to the state of California.
To facilitate the new construction project, COD has partnered with other educational institutions, neighborhood groups, the City of Palm Springs and Southern California Edison. COD is also breaking ground by partnering with public and private ventures. “We are looking for a realistic and affordable way to build the Palm Springs Campus,” said Renew.
“This is almost like a space journey; we are literally going where no other college has gone before”, said Vice President of Business Affairs, Dr. Edwin Deas. The council meets once a month through each semester, finding different ways to promote the idea of sustainability on COD campuses. Meetings are open to everyone, “There are no members of the Green Council, because everyone is a already a member. There are no directors of Green Council, because everyone can be a director,” said Deas.
The recent forum touched upon basic information, such as curriculum, procedures and designs of the “green” campus. Deas added, “It took a bit of nudging in the beginning, but now COD is up and running as a green player.”
The west valley campus will be built in phases and is expected to be complete by 2015, which should give student commuters a sigh of relief. COD is looking to expand to both the east and west, so students do not have to rely on getting to a central campus. “Get education to the people instead,” said Deas.