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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : regional September 25, 2016

5/16/2013 2:22:00 PM
Yavapai College nears completion of $69.5 million bond projects
Some 80 percent of bond dollars spent in Yavapai County

Yavapai College is nearing successful completion of all projects funded under the $69.5 million Yavapai College General Obligations Bond Issuance of November 2000.

Yavapai County residents voted in 2000 to approve a $69.5 million bond to facilitate renovations and new construction as outlined in the district's 2000 Campus Master Plan, which will be completed this year. Dr. Clint Ewell, the college's vice president of finance and administrative services, reports that at least 80 percent of the $69.5 million was spent in Yavapai County with local businesses, suppliers, contractors and service providers.

"The people of Yavapai County have always supported Yavapai College, and we're delighted to honor that support with improvements that they can be proud of," said Dr. Penny Wills, Yavapai College president. "We're here to provide quality higher learning and cultural resources for the diverse populations of the county, and the bond has certainly contributed to our ability to live up to that."

Over the past 12-plus years, this bond has funded such projects as new construction, renovations, land purchases and improved infrastructure in Chino Valley/Paulden, Cordes Junction, Prescott, Prescott Valley, Sedona and Verde Valley. A final project, a shared electronic message board with the Mayer school district, is due to be completed by June.

Projects completed under the bond funding include:

• Chino Valley campus: Purchased 30 acres, electrical and data building, greenhouse for hydroponics and aqua-culture water tank, fire pump system and well, classroom building (first LEED Certified Silver Building in Northern Arizona), modular classroom, farrier barn, and regional technology training center;

• Cordes Junction: Renovated space to create a new education center in partnership with Mayer High School;

• Prescott campus: Major renovations and modernization to the four main academic buildings, computer commons and library, arts complex, physical plant modernization and new utility infrastructure;

• Prescott Valley campus: Renovation of existing center, upgraded HVAC systems, construction of addition to existing center and wing of PV Library, new computer lab and police training and skill development center;

• Sedona: Purchased five acres to provide room for expansion;

• Verde Valley campus in Clarkdale: Added Building L with science labs, classroom space and offices, added Building M with classrooms and community meeting space; added student support services, labs and training facilities to Building L.

Last year, the architecture and engineering firm GLHN completed a district-wide facilities condition assessment to determine the condition and estimated life expectancy of the site and building systems. Yavapai College's overall facility condition index was .06 on a scale of 0.0 (excellent condition) to .8 (need to renovate); any score above .8 means replacement is needed. Earlier this year during its accreditation site visit, the Higher Learning Commission praised the college for the condition of its facilities throughout Yavapai County. "This is a direct result of the passage by county voters of the 2000 bond program for capital construction and renovation," noted Steve Walker, college vice president of advancement and executive director of the Yavapai College Foundation.

The college has begun its next 10-year Campus Master Plan planning process and is inviting community members to share their ideas at a pair of public meetings on Wednesday, May 15. The meetings will be held simultaneously from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the Prescott campus (1100 E. Sheldon St., in the Rock House) and the Verde Valley campus (601 Black Hills Drive, Clarkdale, Bldg. M, Room 137) for people in each community.

The college is working in partnership with SmithGroup JJR to create a Campus Master Plan that will guide facility and infrastructure activities for the next 10 years. SmithGroup facilitators have held similar sessions with college faculty, staff and students.

Yavapai College, established in 1965, provides quality higher learning and cultural resources for the diverse populations of Yavapai County. The College offers 76 different programs of study available to students at the college's centers in Prescott (main campus), Clarkdale (the Verde Valley Campus), Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, Sedona, and the Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC) by the Prescott Airport. Yavapai College is among the few community colleges nationwide that has the combination of a community Performing Arts Center, art gallery, nationally competitive athletic program, on-campus student housing, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) program, and an award-winning Family Enrichment Center, which serves as a lab school demonstrating best practices in early childhood education.

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