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3/18/2014 2:55:00 PM
College master plan dissenters to talk to Camp Verde council

Bill Helm

CAMP VERDE - Retired educator Carol German would like to see Yavapai County's community college system modeled after the Maricopa County Community College District.

"One system, [multiple] colleges, under one county board," said German, member of the Camp Verde Town Council. "The Clarkdale campus and the Sedona campus could be [known as] Verde Valley Community College."

Seeking a greater collegiate presence in the Verde Valley, former Yavapai College board member Robert Oliphant and retired educator Ruth Wicks will talk to the Camp Verde Town Council during Wednesday's regular session.

In January, Oliphant resigned from the board, the only member to vote against giving preliminary approval to a new campus master plan that directs close to 97 percent of $103.8 million to Prescott and Prescott Valley campuses.

According to the council's agenda packet, $530,000 of the proposed budget is scheduled to go to Verde Valley campuses, with $175,000 of the total to be spent in the project's first phase on general open space improvements and wayfinding improvements.

Also stated in the agenda packet, the college may build a greenhouse on the Verde Valley campus after the eighth year of the plan - if a Chino Valley/Paulden campus is built and if a program or two are then moved to the Verde Valley campus. The estimated cost of the greenhouse is $2,062,500.

The plan allocates money to the Prescott and Prescott Valley campuses for faculty, upgrades to athletic fields, campus expansion in Prescott, vacant land on the Prescott campus, dormitories both existing and planned, a new soccer field, new classrooms and parking, and an allied nursing program on a new $45 million campus in Prescott Valley.

According to German, the plan is "pretty much stripping post-secondary education" from the Verde Valley.

"Why can't we have a thriving community college on this side of the mountain?" she asked.

Also on tonight's agenda, the council will discuss and possibly approve a wine festival license for the Spring Heritage Pecan & Wine Festival, scheduled for March 29-30.

Today's regular session will be held at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers, 473 S. Main St. #106. A copy of tonight's agenda is available at:

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42 and Instagram @VerdeValleyNews

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