Facilities Master Plan Summary

The College of the Desert began to develop a new Facilities Master Plan in the spring of 2017. This plan was intended to address current and future facilities needs district wide (District Map). The process was designed to be transparent and inclusive. A number of outreach measures were taken. A Facilities Master Plan website was created so that students, faculty, and staff could have the opportunity to make observations and recommendations. In addition, representative stakeholders were identified and asked to participate in committee and work group discussions. This included the formation of a combined Facilities Advisory Committee and Facilities Master Plan Task Force. These 2 groups worked in conjunction with the normal business of the Facilities Advisory Committee. (The regular Facilities Advisory Committee is a campus operational committee that advises on facilities related matters.) This extensive process included reviews by the Task Force, the Facilities Advisory Committee, the Academic Senate leadership and the College Planning Council. The process culminated in a review and approval by the Desert Community College District Board of Trustees on October 31, 2019.

Brief Description of Project

The Facilities Master Plan process was facilitated by Cambridge West Partnership, LLC, a professional planning firm. Early in the process there were monthly planning meetings conducted to gather input and ideas, to discuss the planning process, and to measure progress made along the way. The Task Force was charged with disseminating information districtwide and providing feedback to the planning team. In addition to the monthly committee meetings, the planners met with multiple internal stakeholder groups. These groups included students, faculty, staff, and campus leadership. The information gathered during the stakeholder meetings was compared to the findings in enrollment, space inventory data, and the Educational Master Plan. In addition, comparisons were made to the findings from the planning team’s analysis of existing facilities and sites. Institutional Research for data and information involving workload, projections, and regional demographics and work force trends were also compared and considered.

The result of this engagement process is a Facility Master Plan largely driven by the needs identified in the Educational Master Plan. Its intention is to help guide the District’s major capital planning for the next 10 years, consistent with District priorities. As one of the many legally-required plans, the Facility Master Plan (CA ADC 51008), takes a global view of the physical resources of the District and begins laying out a plan for future facilities capital development.

Planning Approach

A high-level planning approach was taken during the development of the Facilities Master Plan. The plan does not dictate office locations, size of specific room types, or the exact location and size of sites planned for future building. Such detailed planning occurs at the time an individual project is under consideration for funding and approval. Detailed program planning for new buildings or remodeled spaces is conducted during the programming and design phase of a project when more information is available and decisions about capital commitments are being made by the District.

The Facilities Master Plan does provide a current perspective for future academic, administrative, and support space needs. It also provides suggested campus systems improvements like open space, pedestrian and vehicular circulation, parking, infrastructure, etc. In addition, it incorporates projects that are already in the planning or construction phase including those funded locally and/or are waiting to be funded by State Capital Outlay funds in conjunction with the Chancellor’s Office. Projects that fall below the capital outlay cost thresholds, minor renovations, and alterations or minor capital improvement projects are not included in this document. They are, or will be, identified through program review and are often opportunistic based on available funding mechanisms or programs. Nevertheless, smaller projects are important to the success of students and are considered globally during conversations about capital and capital renewal needs in the context of supporting the District’s strategic priorities and its long-range capital plan, including secondary effects, all in support of the Educational Master Plan.

As a companion document to the Educational Master Plan, the Facilities Master Plan anticipates the capital needs for the District through the year 2030 and memorializes and institutionalizes facilities related needs based on a snapshot in time.

Major Findings

  • To serve the rapidly growing population of the East Valley, the Indio Center expansion is currently in the design phase. Included are additional adjacent or proximate acreage for other programs and parking on the southern edge of the existing campus. This expansion will help alleviate parking deficits and provide space for a new Child Development Center (early planning).

  • To better utilize the Mecca-Thermal facilities in the East Valley by providing selective improvements to best support unique training opportunities, programs, and activities.

  • To fully plan and develop the Palm Springs Development Project to better serve the West Valley. The project provides a regional workforce innovation center that will educate and train students for 21st century jobs and careers. This will be done in a collaborative, living, learning environment focusing on signature programs synergistic to the location. It will be boosted by local and regional partnerships that are evolving and expanding (e.g. not-for-profits, educational institutions, and local business initiatives).

  • An expectation that the Palm Desert Campus will continue to focus on reinforcing existing campus planning and the repurposing of its historic core; meeting the needs of students with a new Student Union with improvements, such as centralized food service operation, additional student organizations, and student club space. In addition, a new theatre and other teaching spaces for the Visual and Performing Arts are needed. The plan focuses on replacing and improving aging athletic facilities. It also provides increased general classroom and teaching laboratory space which includes renovations to two academic buildings to improve their useful life as academic and instructional facilities (Liberal Arts Building and the Science Building).

  • Detailed planning and programming for the land acquired to support Roadrunner Motors automobile and advanced transportation programs in Cathedral City.

Inclusive Planning Process

Like all of the College of the Desert planning tools, the Facilities Master Plan is a living document which will undoubtedly change over time. The District should utilize the Facilities Master Plan for historical guidance when new projects are discussed or as facilities needs arise. The District should continue its inclusive planning process that links together strategic planning, the Educational Master Plan, and other planning efforts to inform facilities planning and capital development. The Facilities Master Plan is intended to be updated and used effectively as a tool by the District for long term physical and capital planning and development.

To review a comprehensive version of the Facilities Master Plan Vison 2030, contact the College of the Desert Bond Program and Facilities Planning office.