By Tina Munoz
Thanks to a $346.5 million bond measure, College of the Deserts is currently implementing a $372 million “Facilities Master Plan,” which encompasses the essential infrastructure for a campus wide renovation.
The Palm Desert campus renovation alone, is targeted for completion in Winter 2013-2014, and a new Visual Arts Building is scheduled to be completed in Spring 2014. The new space is also set to include modern lab and classroom spaces, with room for 2D drawing and painting, 3D sculpture, printmaking, photography (digital and print), and ceramics classes. Maribel Ramirez, a Liberal Arts major, has great expectations when it comes to the new Visual Arts building. She is “hoping for a clean facility with a lot of space,” and goes on to say that, “the new buildings gives me a sense that they finally care about the arts.”
A new 22,700-square- foot Applied Sciences building will include four classrooms, Computer-Aided Drafting and Design (CAD) lab, Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) lab, outdoor HVAC and Construction Technology labs, faculty offices, and an outdoor courtyard. John Jaramillo, Dean of the School of Applied Sciences and Business, noted that, “the labs will be state-of-the-art, and will provide our students the best possible learning environment.” This project brings together the Agriculture, Construction Science, Natural Resources, and Horticulture departments, that are currently scattered throughout the campus. James Matson, principal of HGA, an integrated architecture, engineering and planning firm, said that “The Applied Sciences Complex promotes hands-on learning and career training through a series of indoor and outdoor learning environments. The outdoor horticulture area, for instance, is an active learning lab where horticulture students grow, maintain, and study different varieties of agricultural plants. Likewise, the HVAC labs offer students real-world training and technical skills development in mechanical-systems repair and maintenance, preparing them to go directly from the classroom to jobs in the community.”
Athletic Facilities scheduled for completion in the Summer of 2015, are to include a new gymnasium, team rooms, restrooms, shower/locker rooms, and maintenance rooms for the Physical Education and Athletic Programs, along with minor renovation to the initial structure of the athletic facilities to accommodate a weight training area, multipurpose rooms, and faculty offices, and new tennis courts. Juan Fulgham, is excited about the new Athletic Facilities. “It’s supposed to be made of glass,” commented Fulgham. Harvest Smith also commented on the new athletic facilities, saying, “I think it’s going to be nice; I just wish I could have played there. Too bad I’m transferring at the end of the semester.”