College of the Desert (COD) purchased land adjacent to the Cathedral City Automotive Center in 2019 to build its new Automotive Technology Training Center called “Roadrunner Motors.” COD purchased the land for slightly above $3 million using Measure CC Bond Funds (totaling $578 million) approved by the voters in 2016. Cathedral City was selected as the perfect location due having the most auto dealers and automotive repair shops in the Coachella Valley. COD students could intern and/or work at nearby auto businesses and could easily access public transportation to get to and from classes. The City of Cathedral City assisted COD with the land selection as the synergy between our automotive center and the trained workforce was ideal to the city’s economic development and strength.
After purchasing the land, drafting architectural plans, and preparing the site for construction, a majority of COD Board of Trustees began looking for alternative locations to build Roadrunner Motors in June 2021 without any public input. On October 28, 2021, the new COD President Martha Garcia announced through a press release, again without any public input, that COD was cancelling the project in Cathedral City and would look at new location sites. President Garcia has later suggested other locations to build Roadrunner Motors including a site in Indio.
The City of Cathedral City invites the community to a “Build It Here” rally on Saturday, April 2, 2022, 9:00 am Assembly and 9:30 am Rally, located at the Festival Lawn, 68600 Avenida Lalo Guerrero, in Downtown Cathedral City. It’s the public’s opportunity to provide input that has been lacking in COD’s decision-making process. Our students deserve equal access to a higher education and the resulting good paying jobs they can get after completing their education at Roadrunner Motors. Join us this Saturday to say in unity that we want COD to “Build It Here!”
For more information, contact Dr. Stone James, Economic Development Director, City of Cathedral City at email@example.com.