The City of Coachella is seeking state funding to create a 'Resilience Community Center for emergency situations. It would also act as a year-round hub for the community.
The city will be applying for $10 million in state funding. If it's approved, the Hidden Harvest will partner with the city to use its building off Avenue 50 as the home for the new center.
“We wanted to work on different economic development activities, restaurants, but then on the other hand, you know, we want to provide a space for nonprofits. And then we also want to provide, and this is ultimately the big idea is a community space, a community resource," said Mayor Steven Hernandez.
Hernandez said the funding would allow them to revamp and transform the 17,800-square-foot building into a multi-use space.
During times of crisis, like after the recent storms for example, the center can be used as place for shelter or resident resources.
“We want to make sure that our residents have the tools needed in order to survive and and be able to recover ultimately from the storm. So it's about preparation. It's about during, and it's about after the emergency," Hernandez explained.
"If we have a storm, for example, if there's a fire, or if there's a heatwave that's been projected, we know that you can come to these resiliency centers, you can get information on whether you know, sandbags, or if we know there's a problem area near your home, we can help mobilize different city resources," he added.
During the rest of the year, this rendering shows how this building could be used.
It can act as a cooling center, a space with kitchens, a multi-purpose room, an art gallery and so much more.
Along with the city, residents came together to weigh-in on the plans on Thursday night.
“It's a one stop shop for the community for those situations, if I can put it that way," said Coachella resident Diana Ramirez.
Ramirez has been waiting for a place like this in her hometown.
“It's overdue, we needed a perfect place for gathering for year round events, or pop-ups for teleworkers for up and coming business owners just for multiple uses. Not only that, for emergency situations, it can be a hub for the community," Ramirez said.
As a business owner and resident, she believes it would serve the community in more ways that one.
“We can provide a platform for upward mobility, upscaling and learning teaching at the same time enjoying learning who my neighbor is. At the same time, in a nice, cool environment."
The application for state funding will be sent before the end of the month.
If approved, the city says the Resilience Community Center could be up and running in the next few years.