It’s tremendously exciting for our community that Palm Springs and College of the Desert are collaborating on the development of the new College of the Desert West Valley campus here in Palm Springs. Back in 2004, voters approved Measure B, a bond issue of $346 million, which includes a mandate for development of an east and west Valley campus. Then in 2007, Palm Springs was chosen as the location for the West Valley Campus. In 2010, a tract of 119 acres in north Palm Springs, located on the northwest corner of Indian Canyon Drive at Tramview Road, was acquired by Palm Springs from the Bureau of Land Management and transferred to the College of the Desert.
Construction has now begun for Phase 1 which includes the infrastructure for the entire site. Already some classes for this campus’ curriculum are being held here in rented space. The construction of Phase 1 will bring hundreds of new jobs to Palm Springs, as will the campus itself when it opens at the Phase 1 completion in 2014. In addition, new support services will undoubtedly develop around the campus, and more will come as the remaining three phases are developed. Along with new jobs, the new campus will bring a young demographic, injecting new vitality into the greater Palm Springs area.
West Valley Campus of College of the Desert
The West Valley Campus curriculum will focus on four main disciplines – Hospitality and Tourism, Media and the Arts, Allied Health, and Sustainability Technology. Roughly half of the acreage will be devoted to a GreenPark for sustainable energy-generating systems. The campus is being constructed utilizing green technology to the extent that it will be totally self-sustaining from its inception and will even generate energy surpluses to sell back into the grid. Sustainability needs for our desert environment will only become more important as we move into the future. It’s the aim of Palm Springs leadership to develop a green economy and to attract clean technology companies to our city. The collaboration between the City of Palm Springs and the West Valley Campus of College of the Desert will be a powerful catalyst for future development here in Palm Springs.