The Desert Community College District (DCCD) Board of Trustees
announced April 17 the purchase of the former Palm Springs Mall, freeing the
development of the permanent Palm Springs Campus to move forward.
“Long ago, the District made a promise to West Valley residents to provide a
campus closer to where students live and work,” stated DCCD Board President
Becky Broughton. “We are excited today to move the permanent Palm Springs Campus
one step closer to reality.”
In May 2016, the College
approved a final environmental impact report and master plan for the site,
which is at the corner of Farrell Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Way. The final
price for the approximately 29-acre property was $22 million.
As part of the acquisition,
the College was also able to purchase adjacent leased land, securing the entire
site for development and enabling the College to move forward absent use
restrictions and pursuant to the original vision for the property. Plans for
our permanent campus include about 330,000 square feet.
for the Palm Springs Campus will help us continue to meet the educational
demands of tomorrow’s students and produce the highly skilled work force that
is the engine of our economy,” said COD Superintendent/President
Dr. Joel L. Kinnamon. “The unique partnership
opportunities available to us in Palm Springs align perfectly with the four
educational/workforce pillars planned there.”
The College is working with
local partners to develop education and training centers in existing and
emerging industry sectors, including:
“All four of these industry
sectors are extremely integral to the regional desert economy,” Dr. Kinnamon
said. “We know education and training are the
keys to a job, career and a better life for our students and a skilled
workforce for local business.”
In January 2018, at the State
of the College, the College announced a partnership with DIGICOM and its CEO David Vogel, former president of Walt
Disney Studios, to create a Center for Digital Media Education as a cornerstone
of the permanent Palm Springs Campus.
Education and career training programs
are already underway led by the College in partnership with the hospitality,
healthcare and energy industries. Internships are offered in partnership with
the Palm Springs International Film Festival, hospitals and local wind and
solar companies. COD students operate a radio station, KCOD, out of a studio in
Palm Desert. The new campus will expand partnership and program opportunities
in these and many other sectors.
campus location in the center of Palm Springs offers significant advantages,
including proximity to existing infrastructure, access to public
transportation, and adjacency to Palm Springs High School, public recreational
facilities, including multiple athletic fields and an Olympic-sized pool, the
Palm Springs Public Library and the Camelot Theatres.
The next step is to complete a structural analysis
of the existing buildings in order to finalize plans for submittal to the state
for review. While a specific timetable has not yet been set for those next
steps, the College will honor all existing leases and work with tenants
currently in place.
In the meantime, the temporary Palm Springs Campus, opened in late January
2018, will remain in operation until the permanent campus is able to
accommodate students. The existing lease agreement with the
Palm Springs Unified School District is for a term of three years.
“The cooperation and support we have
received from education, business and community leaders has been overwhelming,”
said DCCD Trustee Dr. Fred Jandt. “We are
especially thankful to the Palm Springs community, City Council and staff that have
worked with us side by side on this project.”
For more information, visit www.collegeofthedesert.edu.
About College of the Desert:bout College of the Desert:
in 1958, College of the Desert (COD), located in Palm Desert, is an accredited
community college serving eastern Riverside County, California. The College
leads the region in providing quality, higher education, technical training and
lifelong learning opportunities, in response to the dynamic needs of our diverse
community. The College serves more than
15,000 each year and is the number one source of transfer students to
California State University, San Bernardino’s Palm Desert Campus. For more
information, visit www.collegeofthedesert.edu.