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COC Canyon Country campus adds tech center

Applied Technology Center to include wide variety of trade instruction

Posted: April 3, 2009 12:44 a.m.
Updated: April 3, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Students at the Canyon Country campus of College of the Canyons could be studying in a new technology center by the end of the 2010 spring semester, a college official said Wednesday.

The college is awaiting state approval to start construction of its Applied Technology Center, which would provide instruction through eight fast-track technical-career programs, Dena Maloney, Canyon Country campus founding dean, told board members Wednesday.

“A lot of people are looking to retrain, change careers (and) find a new opportunity,” Maloney said. “This is a way for people to retool and get into the workforce again.”

The facility, to be located on the northwest side of campus, will include a 10,000-square-foot warehouse, four general classrooms, a computer lab, instructor offices and limited parking.

Half of the warehouse would be used as an automotive shop. The other half would be used for building-trades and alternative-energy shops, Maloney said.

The programs taught at the center will train students in automotive technology, building inspection, construction management, landscape maintenance and management, plumbing, electrical technology, heating/ventilation/air-conditioning and alternative-energy technologies.

The automotive, building and construction programs already exist and are being taught at Saugus High School and the Valencia campus, Maloney said.

She said the landscape program is newly approved but does not have a teaching location, while the other programs are still in planning for the future center.

The hope is that the center, which will use about $5 million of Measure M funds, will open as early as the end of next year’s spring semester, Maloney said. But delay of design approval by the state could lead to a later opening during the 2010 fall semester.

“It all depends on how quickly we get (Division of the State Architect) approval,” said Maloney, who explained that the division is backlogged with projects because of the state’s mandatory furlough days.

About 30 percent of the college’s students attend classes solely at the COC campus, Maloney told the board members.

Chancellor Dianne Van Hook said the new center could increase that percentage.

“When the Applied Technology building is up, you will see the numbers of people taking classes only here go up significantly because those classes are not your typical three hours a week or four hours a week,” she said. “Those are advanced time-frame classes, and those (students) in most cases will be here for 20 hours a week just in that building, so that will make a big difference.”

The planning for the campus expansion is part of the college’s education master plan approved about 10 months ago, Maloney said.

The project comes during a time of growth in student enrollment growth. The campus’ student count increased during the 2008-2009 school year, according to Maloney.

The number increased by 4 percent in the fall session, 9 percent in the winter session and 14 percent during the 2008-2009 school year compared to the prior school year.

Other business considered by trustees included the approval of $2,081,566 in additional district revenue from grants.

The total includes more than $1,900 added to the unrestricted general fund, more than $79,000 to the restricted general fund and $2 million to the Financial Aid fund for Pell Grant awards.

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