The Post 5/18 – Updated renderings for planned COD Campus revealed

We’re getting our first look at updated digital renderings of the planned College of the Desert (COD) campus in Palm Springs.

Driving the news: On Wednesday morning, the Palm Springs Development Project Management Team convened to update COD representatives and the public on the project’s status.

Looking back: Back in February, members of the Desert Community College District Board of Trustees voted to approve schematic design plans for the campus and directed staff to include several adjustments, which were addressed at Wednesday’s meeting.As a part of the changes, the designers added table seating to the demonstration kitchen, as well as a science lab, architecture workshop, pastry kitchen and mock hotel room. They also moved the central utility plant and the event center.

Context: Voters began approving what was to become nearly $1 billion in bond money for the college to use on new campus construction in 2004. In Palm Springs, they were promised a sprawling campus on 118 acres in the north end of town, but those plans shifted to the former Palm Springs Mall site in 2014.Since the mall was razed in 2019, there has been little to no activity on the parcel in the city’s center. Following a change in leadership at the college in 2021, accusations, heated public meetings, attack ads and at least one lawsuit followed.

What to watch: Representatives from WRNS Studio, the lead architects for the project, said they were “90% done” with the schematic design and will be holding a preliminary meeting with the Division of the State Architect, who will eventually approve the design for construction.The project team will have another meeting on June 14, where they will present the finalized schematic design. From there, they can begin design development, which means narrowing down details like the colors, materials and landscape.

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