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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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10/12/2013 1:55:00 PM
Yavapai College presents draft 10-year plan
Viticulture and enology continues to be part of the school's facilities planning. (Cronkite News Service Photo)
Viticulture and enology continues to be part of the school's facilities planning. (Cronkite News Service Photo)

Yvonne Gonzalez
Staff Reporter


CLARKDALE - Around 50 members of the community gathered at Yavapai College to hear the school's plan for the next 10 years, said spokesman Mark Lange.

Those in attendance were mostly concerned with how specific programs would be impacted, the reasoning for the location of certain programs, and the expansion of non-credit courses.

"This plan, the campus master plan, really supports the education master plan the college has developed," Lange said.

Viticulture and enology continues to be part of the school's facilities planning.

"We're planning to break ground sometime in November on the Southwest Wine Center," he said.

The idea of housing on the Clarkdale campus was brought up "given the viticulture program being a destination program," Lange said, but that is not part of the 10-year plan.

"We have plenty of space available in the Verde Valley campus that we feel we have room to grow into in the next 10 years," Lange said.

Future programs were also discussed, as well as the imminent hiatus of the Sedona film school.

"The college is going to review the program to see how it can be restructured," Lange said. "Enrollment is down 44 percent."

Students currently in the program will be able to finish this academic year.

"Given that the facility is not meeting our broad needs, we're looking at options for a different facility and a different presence in the Sedona area," he said.

This was one of two public forums, the other held at the Prescott campus, to present the school's plan to ensure its facilities can provide "quality programming and services in a cost-efficient manner for the next 10 years," according to a press release.

The plan reflects data collected from Yavapai College communities for the past six months by SmithGroup JJR, a national architecture and engineering firm, as well as input from the community, students, faculty and staff.

SmithGroup JJR looked at trends for the county, population, industry, jobs, and what the school needs to plan facilities for.

"A big part of the plan takes into account the tremendous growth in online enrollment," he said. "23 percent of our students take some kind of online course. They anticipate that that's just going to grow over the next 10 years."

Yavapai College will take the feedback gained from the public forum to create the final version of the master plan, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

"We're in the final stages," Lange said. "We let people have one last chance to take a look at it and make comments."

People can view the plan at Yavapai College's website http://www.yc.edu/v4content/facilities/.



Follow the reporter on Twitter @ymgonzal




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