COD West Valley Campus still in the distant future

COD West Valley Campus still in the distant future

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - A west valley campus for College of the Desert has been talked about for years, and as students gear up to go back to school many wonder if it's still going to happen.

"I live on that side of the valley and it takes me about 30 minutes to get down here," said Baltasar Pimentel who just enrolled in his first semester at COD.

The project has been in the works for nearly a decade. But the plan to have a 120-acre satellite campus on Indian Canyon and Tramview in Palm Springs open this school year fell through, after a partnership with Southern California Edison failed.

"They spent a fair amount of money on planning and environmental work on a campus that didn't get built and is not going to get built," said John Raymond, Director of Community and Economic Development for the City of Palm Springs.

The college had to start over.

In April, it announced it made an offer to buy the vacant Palm Springs Mall with funds from Bond Measure B, which was approved by voters in 2004.

"I know there was an announcement in Spring and there was an expectation things would happen quickly, but it never happens that way," Raymond said.
The city says COD is still years from breaking ground. After acquiring the property comes a lengthy planning process that took years for the Indian Canyon campus.

The college couldn't give us an approximate opening date, but Superintendent Joel Kinnamon offered this statement:

"The West Valley Campus continues to be an exciting educational priority.  College of the Desert is conducting an Environmental Impact Study.  Upon completion of this study, preliminary designs will be submitted to the California Department of State Architects for approval."

That means students like Pimentel will likely never take a class at the future campus.

"You'll be out of COD before this campus is ready," Raymond said.

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