PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Officials have announced the new location for the College of the Desert's West Valley Campus in Palm Springs; the vacant mall at 2363 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way.
The proposed location of the 119-acre campus was at the corner of Indian Canyon Drive and Tramview Road, but Southern California Edison canceled plans to develop a solar park there, so city officials asked the college to reconsider the vacant mall.
College officials made an offer to the owner of the mall and they hope to negotiate a purchase. Currently, the mall is partially leased with no firm redevelopment plans in place.
"This new site, located in the heart of the city, is truly the best location for the West Valley Campus," said Mayor Steve Pougnet. "The city is experiencing a tremendous renaissance and it makes perfect sense that students have access to all of the wonderful things our city has to offer right in the heart of Palm Springs."
The West Valley Campus has been in the works for a long time now. Construction was first slated to begin in the fall of 2013. The project is funded by Bond Measure B, which was approved by voters in 2004.
"The COD Board of Trustees remains firmly committed to the development of the West Valley Campus," said COD Superintendent /President Joel L. Kinnamon.
"The solar park project was a crucial component of the college's plans. With that partnership and source of revenue no longer available - there is no doubt that relocating the campus to the Palm Springs Mall is the right solution at the right time for the benefit of our students," Kinnamon said.
COD opened its Indio campus at the end of February, allowing students on the east side of the valley to get the classes they need without driving to the main campus in Palm Desert.
Currently for students on the west end of the valley, COD classes are held at night at Palm Springs High School.