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COC culinary arts program forced to move Mar. 31

Contract for Town Center Drive location to expire

Posted: February 22, 2010 9:51 p.m.
Updated: February 23, 2010 2:47 p.m.
 
Administrators announced today that the College of the Canyons Institute for Culinary Education (I-CuE), currently located in the building of a former restaurant at 23400 Town Center Dr. near the Westfield Valencia Town Center shopping mall, will be forced to move by March 31.

The original agreement for use of the restaurant was crafted by Westfield and subsequently assumed by property manager CB Richard Ellis (CBRE). The agreement had been a specialty, or temporary, license rather than a long-term lease.

Where the program will relocate is unclear at this time since the college's curriculum requires a space that has a professional kitchen with ample and appropriate space for food preparation and classroom instruction.

The college is actively looking for an alternative site for the program with a minimum of 3,000 square-feet.

"We took a bit of a risk that we'd be able to stay in the Town Center location for a substantial amount of time," said Mitjl Capet, vice president of instruction for the college, "As a result, we are in a position where we have to move extremely quickly to find another location where we can offer instruction to nearly 400 currently enrolled students in this very popular, ‘hot' career field."

Approximately 130 students have enrolled in additional culinary classes scheduled to start in April. Administrators have assured students that these classes will be held in the most suitable facility they can find.

The rapidly expanding Culinary Arts program at the college has seen an astronomical increase in growth in a short period of time, expanding to 19 classes this spring from only nine classes in spring 2009.

The program has worked with restaurants/food service providers to increase the opportunity for career-ladder employment in the industry.

The college's Culinary Arts program was created in 2006 but growth was restricted due to the inadequate and crowded on-campus facilities that were shared by the college's contract food services vendor.

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