Sedona Center alive and well thanks to effective advocacy and political opposition to closing
Recall that in December 2013 the College and a majority on the District Governing Board agreed to sell the Sedona Center and the Chino Valley Center, while also selling and then rebuilding the Prescott Valley Center at a cost estimated around $50 million. Furthermore, recall that the December 2013 ten-year-plan allocated more than 95% of $103.5 million to specific West County development. There was not a penny for Sedona Center development.
At best, the development plan suggested that the College lease 10,000 square feet sometime in the future for a Sedona facility. (The College killed off the nationally recognized film school in Sedona no doubt in preparation for the possible sale and also closed down virtually all for-credit courses.)
To many, the College plan was to restrict development of almost all Community College live classes and all other live activity to the West side of the County. Specifically, in the Prescott/Prescott Valley area.
The College administration misjudged the Verde Valley. When word came of the closing and selling of the Sedona Center, there was an outpouring of opposition to the plan. The administration may have also misjudged Sedona’s former and present mayor and Sedona’s City Council. While they were extremely polite in their response to the contemplated closing and selling of the Sedona Center, they were forceful and unanimous in vocal opposition to the decision.
Another part of the plan, intended for Prescott Valley, also fell through. Apparently, the administration failed to foresee the possibility of Northern Arizona University (NAU) backing away from the plan for a major health complex in Prescott Valley. NAU’s reluctance surfaced after it hired a new President. It wasn’t long after that when the College announced it was scuttling plans for the $50 million plus development in Prescott Valley and reducing future expenditures to around $18 million.
The College administration has also backpedaled on its decision to close the Chino Valley Center. It has given Chino Valley a reprieve of several years to increase enrollment.
The overall result of not selling the centers is to begin returning the Community College to one that serves all the citizens of the County. While there is a long way to go, the trend to locate virtually all live classes and activities in Prescott/Prescott Valley has at least been slowed.
Below is a copy of a portion of the original December 2013 plan as approved by a majority of the District Governing Board. It shows their intention to sell the three centers. The Blog couldn’t resist reminding readers of the plan as the College prepares for an open house at the newly renovated Sedona Center.
THE ORIGINAL PLAN BELOW AS DRAFTED BY THE COLLEGE