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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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12/12/2013 2:25:00 PM
Yavapai College board approves master plan
Board member Robert Oliphant of Cottonwood, who’s opposed to portions of the plan that he said could restrict rural students and favor students in larger communities, voted against the plan.
Board member Robert Oliphant of Cottonwood, who’s opposed to portions of the plan that he said could restrict rural students and favor students in larger communities, voted against the plan.
By Patrick Whitehurst
Contributing Reporter

PRESCOTT - The Yavapai College Governing Board members voted 4-1 in favor of the college's new 10-year master plan. The board made the decision during its regular meeting at the Prescott Valley college campus on Tuesday.

Board member Robert Oliphant, who's opposed to portions of the plan that he said could restrict rural students and favor students in larger communities, voted against the plan.

Governing board members first discussed the plan during their November meeting, where they asked for a comprehensive cost analysis for each proposed step.

With Tuesday's approval, Herald Harrington, YC Governing Board Spokesman, said the board would focus on the next one to three years of the plan at their meeting in January.

"We'll really be looking at what the details will be. I'm sure we'll be making some changes," Harrington said. "What we were approving, really, is to continue the planning process and figure out how to implement the master plan for the next 10 years. We didn't approve any funding. This is going to be a long, drawn-out process with lots of steps. The administration is recommending that we look at it in three stages: near-term, three years out; then three to seven years; and then on out to 10 years."

The budget process also begins in January, which would make the funding discussion timely, Harrington said.

"We'll be making updates and changes to it as time goes on, but we're basically going to start working toward implementing a master plan based on the recommendation of the consulting company," Harrington said.

Cost estimates also were provided during the meeting.

"Between the assets we're going to sell and changes we're going to make in the organization over 10 years, we've got over $50 million that we're going to have to figure out how to fund," Harrington said. "We're not contemplating doing a general obligation bond. We might do some revenue bonding. For the last several years, we've generally funded about $10 million in capital improvements a year. The total price tag for this master plan, if we did everything they recommended, with our best estimate on inflation, if we didn't dispose of any assets, is about $100 million. It's not way outside of a 10-year capital spending plan, which we routinely do."

The proposed master plan calls for closing the Chino Valley campus over the course of the next 10 years, making changes to the Sedona site of Yavapai College such as the relocation of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) and the closure of the digital film school.

In Prescott, the master plan recommends expansion to the existing parking areas; the creation of a university center and a student activity space; construction of a 200- to 300-seat lecture hall; the construction of a multi-purpose field and more.

In Prescott Valley, the master plan recommends selling two existing facilities and replacing them with one large center, as well as the creation of a Center of Excellence for nursing and allied health. Those changes could move the nursing program out of the Verde Valley and into the Prescott Valley site.

Other Verde Valley changes include the completion of the Southwest Wine Center, moving the equine and agriculture program from Chino Valley to the Verde Valley, and enhancing the college's partnerships with area high schools.

Follow reporter Patrick Whitehurst on Twitter @pwdcourier.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Article comment by: Close the Yavapai Nursing Program at both campuses.

There are already too any nurses, as evident that many of the newly graduated RN's from Yavapai College are unable to secure a job as an RN.

Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Babbitt

Where is the beer brewing center or the synthetic alcohol center. Why is the whino considered a better class of drunk.

Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Article comment by: Become Informed

Maybe you should all read the full story, not just the caption on the photo.
If you use any of the campuses of the Greater Verde Valley, at least those that still exist and have not already been axed like Camp Verde, you should applaud the efforts Mr. Oliphant is making to secure your right to educational access.
Take this and look it up, this so called "master plan" is a 10 year blueprint to spend 104 MILLION dollars of your property tax money and renovate campuses and increase programming. Guess how much of that will come back to this side of the mountain? Less than 1%, yes that is right, less than 1 Million of YOUR money will be invested in providing programs or facilities within the Verde Valley.
How about the Southwest Wine Center? Well, that program was determined to be a "Community sponsored" program and facility, requiring private donations and efforts, because as you can already guess, Yavapai College just doesn't have enough money to implement such an endeavor on this side of the hill.
So long Sedona Film program, goodbye nursing programs, hello to a brand new Campus built in Prescott Valley for a more centralized Nursing program opportunity. But the gifts you provide don't stop there. Prescott will also welcome MORE student housing, a larger Performance hall WITH commercial kitchens for the new Culinary program that was promised to Sedona before they made the decision to also close that campus. Also, don't forget the new soccer fields and Multipurpose buildings, the new Lecture hall, and much more.
Pick up the studies, become informed about Your community, and quit picking on those that ultimately have your best interests at heart.

Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Article comment by: Okay I'm cofused

So exactly why is Mr. O against this significant gain in programming for the Verde Valley?

Posted: Monday, December 16, 2013
Article comment by: Dos Haciendas

Wow. The Verde Valley Campus is finally getting some great programs that match community values and interests, and Oliphant votes against it? Lucky for us, he's way out-numbered.

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