Cal State San Bernardino Palm Desert Campus officials Monday hailed news of a $79 million allocation included in the state budget proposal to kick-start the development of a Student Center Building.

“This is a big day for the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus and the Coachella Valley community,” Tomás D. Morales, president of CSUSB, said in a statement. “It will help expand higher education opportunities in the Coachella Valley and we are grateful to everyone who helped make this dream a reality.”

The budget would fund Phase 1 of the building, officials said, providing enhanced student services in hopes of making the Palm Desert campus a more attractive option for students living in the Coachella Valley — possibly becoming a precursor to a separate CSU campus in the area, officials said.

The student center building would ultimately be 23,700 square feet and include a library, bookstore, food services, a tutoring center and other services. Its construction would also allow existing space to be repurposed into other uses, such as classrooms and faculty offices.

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