New buildings mushrooming everywhere

Remodeled Monterey entrance to College of the Desert Tina Munoz/The Chaparral
Remodeled Monterey entrance to College of the Desert Tina Munoz/The Chaparral


Brand new Communications building Tina Munoz/The Chaparral
Brand new Communications building Tina Munoz/The Chaparral

Chaparral News Brief

By Editorial Staff

The Chaparral did an online interview with Steve Renew, the Director of Maintenance and Operations, and he volunteered the following information.

“First note that public school buildings are paid for by the sale of public bonds. The proposed sale of bonds is placed on the ballot and the community votes to either approve or disapprove the sale of bonds. The voters in the Coachella Valley approved Measure B in 2004, giving rise to our current bond funding ($364.5 million). The expenditure of these funds is controlled by state law. They can only be used on facilities, not operational costs like teachers. The budget for operational costs like teachers and salaries is established annually by the state legislature for the California Community College system as a whole, with each college receiving its “slice of the pie.”

Communication Building

Finishing details are being completed and commissioning of mechanical and electrical systems is in process.  This building will be the new home of the School of Communication and Humanities, with classrooms and offices.  It is targeted to be (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) LEED Gold and has photovoltaic panels installed as part of the energy saving strategy.

Visual Arts

Very near the Child Development project and impacting the same parking lot, Lot 15, in the location that some of you know as the circle by M&O (Maintenance and Operations) and the Warehouse, construction has started on a new Visual Arts Building.  This building will have studios and labs, an outdoor kiln area, and a classroom.  The building will be ready in Spring of 2014.

What to expect:  Between now and the end of this semester the project will be contained within the fence line as it now stands.   During Summer utilities connections in Lot 15 will require that the fence be pushed out into the middle of that parking lot/drive.   The parking in the south half of that parking lot will be impacted to provide adequate drive aisles through summer.  Work in the parking lot will be complete and parking will be restored for the start of the Fall Semester.

So expect construction on both ends of Parking Lot 15 for the CDC project and the Visual Arts project during this summer.


Construction began on the new gymnasium and transformation of the old shower locker/central plant into multipurpose physical education rooms, a weight training center and offices.   The new gym will have team rooms, showers and lockers and courts for basketball, volleyball and other athletic contests.  The existing gym will then be demolished to make room for new tennis courts.  This work will continue into Summer of 2014.

What to expect:  During this semester grading will continue and underground utilities will be installed for the Gym.

The State Architect (DSA) reviews all plans and specifications for construction and is the permitting agency for California Community Colleges.

New Applied Sciences and Renovation of Agriculture Building.  Expected construction start in August.  Work outside of Agriculture Building this summer.

We anticipate getting permitted by summer and beginning construction immediately after.  Expect to see this project in construction through the fall and next spring.  The existing Applied Sciences building will be razed and a new, larger building will be built to house classrooms and labs for the programs in that School.  The adjacent Agriculture Building will be modernized and new lathe houses and greenhouses will be placed.  Expected completion for these two buildings is summer of 2014.

What to expect:  In Fall Semester, relocation of programs to Diesel Mechanics Building and East Annex.   Fences up around Agriculture Building and the site of the existing Applied Sciences Building.

Stagecraft Building

A small building will be constructed just north of Theatre Too to provide classroom/labs for Theatre Arts and practice rooms for Music.  The anticipated permitting date is late April or early May with the commencement of construction in the summer.  They will be working to get this building ready for use in the Spring Semester of 2014, depending on the date of approval of plans by DSA.

What to expect:  Impact in the Fall Semester on half of the parking in Parking Lot 4 (by Theatre Too and Social Sciences buildings).  Construction fences in the area just north of Theatre Too and a portion of Parking Lot 4.


Central Campus Redevelopment

Design for this project consists of renovation and modernization of the Hilb Library; returning library and learning resources to the heart of the campus; the ‘C’ building, Liberal Arts, and Administration.  Progress continues in the late stages of design and will move to the development of construction documents.  It is anticipated that those documents will be ready to submit to DSA for review by December of this year.

What to expect:  A mostly vacated HILB center as programs and staff will relocate into the new Communication Building.  Construction start is anticipated in late summer or early fall of 2014 (again, depending on release of plans by DSA).”

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