The College of the Desert Board of Trustees meeting on September 15 provided a comprehensive timeline and details of past planning and current progress on the permanent Palm Springs campus.
During the public meeting that spanned nearly six hours, the Board discussed an updated feasibility study examining population trends across the Coachella Valley. While the population across the region is expected to increase 7% annually through 2040, the number of residents aged 15-24 is expected to decline by 7.3% by 2027, the study found.
The drop in the 15- to 24-year-old demographic, combined with annual campus operating expenses of about $1.5 million and additional costs for faculty, student services, public safety and administration make it difficult to sustain a large campus, the study noted.
An additional presentation provided insight into the history of the Palm Springs Development Project and its changes over time. The presentation noted the $290 million provided for the campus as part of Bond CC and all expenditures to date. To help the public understand the current plans and goals for the campus, a side-by-side comparison shows changes from the original concept based on the feasibility study.
“First and foremost, the Palm Springs campus must meet the needs of students,” Board President Ruben AriAztlán Pérez said. “Addressing the campus development in a public forum helps everyone understand how and why the project is evolving.”
The Palm Springs Development Project will be a world class facility featuring a combination of traditional instruction and hands-on technical education. Since January 2018, a temporary campus in Palm Springs has allowed students to access classes and training. The College remains committed to the planning and completion of a permanent campus to better serve students and the community.
The video of the Board of Trustees meeting and the presentation materials are available online at CollegeoftheDesert.edu.