Groundbreaking for New COD Campus in Indio
After nearly a decade in the works, construction begins for the College of the Desert campus in downtown Indio.
The 20 million dollar project will be completed in 2014.
City and college leaders toss shovelfuls of dirt, paving the way for an Indio College of the Desert campus.
They are expecting to have 3,000 students taking classes at the downtown center.
"It's going to have a significant offering with that number of students we're going to have a wide array of general ed classes and also other types of programs, so it is I believe going to be a very robust campus as it grows and develops," said College of the Desert president, Joel Kinnamon.
The infrastructure on this project will be completed by Thanksgiving, making way for them to break ground for the buildings next month.
"I think it's awesome and great now that we're actually breaking ground for a college campus, College of the Desert, here on the east side of the Coachella Valley, knowing that the majority of students that actually attend COD are actually from the east side, specifically here in Indio," said Assemblymember Manuel Perez.
The new campus will not only offer education, but also a commercial aspect.
"We're hoping for either restaurants or other types of businesses to be involved so that one it provides some services for our students, but also to the community, and it can also help facilitate a revenue stream for the operations of the campus," said Kinnamon.
And city leaders say this downtown campus will be the next big thing for Indio.
"We're having a lot of interest from new outside business owners that want to relocate their businesses or new businesses into the city of Indio, so yes I really think it's going to do an economic boom to create new jobs and shops and stores throughout the whole valley, but here definitely in the city of Indio right in the downtown," said Indio mayor, Glenn Miller.
College of the Desert is expanding across the valley -- the main campus in Palm Desert, a center in Mecca/Thermal, they are working on a west valley campus in Palm Springs, and looking at a smaller classroom facility in Desert Hot Springs.
Construction at the site of the new campus is forcing some road closures.
A portion of Towne street, Bliss Avenue, Requa Avenue and Civic Center Mall will be closed through most of November.