College of the desert expands to west valley

 

Fountain of Knowledge on Palm Desert campus

Renee Buckley

Front Page Editor

College of the Desert is awaiting a Nov. 28 vote by the Palm Springs Unified School District, in order to lease 4.15 acres for a temporary Palm Springs campus to be open for Spring 2018 classes. This movement has already been approved by the COD Board of Trustees on Nov.16.

The campus will have eleven classrooms, computer labs, administrative, and student services. It has been a long time goal of COD to expand to Palm Springs after expanding to Indio, Mecca/Thermal, and Desert Hot Springs. COD Superintendent/President Joel L. Kinnamon, Ed.D. said, “Thanks to Palm Springs Unified School District, this is a great first step in that direction as we at the college continue to pursue a long-term site at the former Palm Springs Mall at Baristo and Farrell Drive.

The campus will of course include COD’s main courses like, Administration of Justice, Anthropology, Art, Business Management, Computer Information Systems, Communications, English, History, Kinesiology, Math, Music, Political Science, Psychology, Radio-TV and Sociology. Kinamon then stated, “Opening these classrooms allows our west valley students to attend classes close to home and work as we acquire, construct and open our permanent campus over the next few years. We look forward to fulfilling our promise to our students and the Palm Springs community.

Though this will not be the permanent campus, it will allow more students in the West Valley access to what COD has to offer.  PSUSD Executive Director of Facilities Planning Julie Arthur commented, “PSUSD has an opportunity to assist College of the Desert in bringing higher education classes to the west side of Coachella Valley in an expedited manner as COD continues its quest to acquire a permanent College of the Desert West Valley Campus located at the former Palm Springs Mall property.” The permanent campus though will be located on 29 acres, and be more than 3,330,000 square feet, and will be done over five phases, the first of which being the demolition of the vacant shopping mall.

With all this excitement comes the costs of what the temporary campus alone will draw up, being roughly $16,000 a month over the 36 month period of the lease. The temporary campus will benefit 600 students of the already 15,000 benefitting all over the desert from expansions. The new Palm Springs campus will help add to the already growing statistics of COD serving 15,000 students per year, as well as being named the fastest growing community college in 2016. As well in 2017 of graduating its largest graduating class in over 60 years.

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