Archive for Verde Campus


McCarver says Community College educational facilities and opportunities will “never be equal on the west and east sides of the County;” McCasland fights for Verde; Harris mum

Second District Representative Deb McCasland raised the question of adequate access to Career and Technical Education (CTE) opportunities and the absence of CTE facilities in the Verde Valley at the October 24 District Governing Board meeting in Prescott.  West County Representative Chair Ray Sigafoos said that he was prepared to support a $5 million-dollar 30,000 square foot or 40,000 square foot facility on the East side if a proposal came over the mountain to him and the Board.

Sigafoos conceded that the College does not “have an adequate single JTED facility in the Verde Valley.”  However, he blamed the former Verde Valley JTED for not providing the Board with that opportunity.  He said that there has not been a “stable [CTE] organization in the Verde Valley” or a building the College could afford until the last year or so. He claimed that he had not “ignored” the Verde Valley.

West County Representative Pat McCarver seemed somewhat less enthusiastic about CTE on the East side of the County than Sigafoos.  She blamed the prior JTED Administration for the current situation saying it was not possible until now to consider building a centralized CTE facility on the East side of the County.  She also stated that from her perspective that educational facilities and opportunities will “never be equal” on both sides of the County.

Representative McCasland continued her consistent theme of supporting the development of adequate Career and Technical Education facilities and opportunities on the East side of the County.  Representative Connie Harris and West County representative Steve Irwin made no comment.

Sigafoos noted that the Board will begin discussing capital projects in January 2018. 

The discussion covered about three minutes and is provided in the following video in its entirety.


Tickets are $125 per person and can be purchased at

Yavapai Community College will hold its annual Wine and Dine in the Vines fundraiser October 28 on the Verde Campus, Saturday, October 28, beginning at 5 p.m.  The event was begun several years ago by the now defunct Greater Verde Valley Chapter of  the Yavapai College Foundation.  It has been carried on by the the Friends of the Southwest Wine Center.  Proceeds directly benefit the Viticulture and Enology (VEN) program, providing scholarships, student activities and education needs.

The Verde Valley Campus is located at 601 Black Hills Drive in Clarkdale.

The event will highlight more than 35 winemakers, restaurant owners, and local chefs. They will be offering tastings of their favorite dishes and wines.

Music will be provided by Blues Hall of Fame artist Leon J. Morton. His music encompasses acoustic Blues/Rock, Country, Country blues, and Americana. He was inducted into The Blues Hall of Fame by the National Heritage Foundation in 2011.


Master plan to construct greenhouses and renovate Building L on the Verde Campus for agricultural use has collapsed: Is CTE “really” headed for building L?

The District Master plan, as adopted in concept in December 2013, recommended the construction of greenhouses on the Verde campus to accommodate the move of the agriculture programs from the Chino Valley Center. That plan also recommended closing and selling the Chino Valley Center.  Click here to read the Master Plan.

Since that time, the administration has made it clear that the Chino Valley Center is no longer on the auction block. According to the administration, it is giving the Center more time to increase enrollment. The consequence of this is to abandon the original idea of moving the agriculture program from Chino Valley to the Verde Campus.

The original Master plan also states that as the nursing program migrates to Prescott Valley, building L was to be renovated for use by the agricultural programs that were anticipated coming from Chino Valley. It states that “as laboratories already exist in building L, the addition of agricultural classes will virtually recreate the Chino Valley Center’s main building.” That is also not going to happen.

So what is going to happen?  In the 2017 March update to the Master Plan, the College states that building L is to be used for Career and Technical Education (CTE). (Recall that when it was built in 2004 Building L was specifically intended for this use but was found to be a poor facility for such training. It was then remodeled into labs.)

The March 2017 update to the Master Plan states the following:  “Verde Valley: Building L has now been scheduled for a major renovation to enhance its ability to offer Career Technical Education (CTE) programming. We plan to do this work in FY19, giving VACTE a year to conduct their planning and to provide input to YC. Verde Valley Campus will continue to offer Nursing, as well as other CTE programming such as Viticulture, Enology, and Film & Media Arts. This represents an increase of roughly $3.8M.” Click here to see the March 2017 update.

So far we’ve heard nothing from V’ACTE or Dean Perey about specific plans for Building L.  Nor have we heard from the College the reasons Building L originally failed as a CTE facility but it is now acceptable for such use.  

Maybe someone should rethink the issue and come up with a “really” viable plan for constructing a CTE facility on the Verde Campus. Why not?





A “barrel tasting event” will be held on the Verde Campus at the Southwest Wine Center from noon to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 15. Admission is $20 at the door, which includes tastings and small bites. The College says it will be tasting a number of unreleased 2016 reds during the event.  The Center is located at 601 Black Hills Drive, Clarkdale, Arizona.  Its normal hours are from noon to 6:00 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

Yavapai College wins 2017 wine award

Receives gold medal and best of class award at International Wine competition in California

Yavapai Community College announced in a press release of June 22, 2017 that the Southwest Wine Center had won a Gold Medal and Best of Class Award at the 2017 Sunset International wine competition in Berkeley, California. It won the award for its 2014 Sunlight (a blended varietal white wine). The sunlight wine was the first wine that the College that had entered in a competitive event.

College Enology Director Michael Pierce said. “This an internationally recognized competition which receives several hundred entries, so to receive a Gold Medal and Best in Class Award is a tremendous accomplishment for the students.”

For more details please see the College press release by clicking here.


No similar program offered in the Verde Valley during the summer

The Yavapai College Film and Media Arts (FMA) Department offered two hands-on film classes at the Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC)  this summer.  The classes, which are required for FMA certificate students, are: FMA 102, Production I and FMA 100, Animation Principles.

“These classes offer a great introduction for students who are planning on pursuing either the Animation or Production certificates,” FMA Program Director Helen Stephenson said. They were also open to members of the general public. 

The FMA classes were offered during Yavapai College’s summer session, June 5 through July 27 at the CTEC Campus, 220 Ruger Road, in Prescott. No similar program was offered during the summer session in the Verde Valley.


Weeds everywhere, dead plants in pots, abandoned blocks, gravel paths eroding following thousands of dollars invested two years ago in Butterfly Gardens area of Campus

Concern is growing about the lack of care for the area on the Verde Campus generally referred to as the “Butterfly Gardens.”  About two years ago the College invested thousands of dollars in landscaping and planting desert flora in these gardens.

During the Blog’s most recent May visit, there were two large unplanted dead trees in large pots that had been in the area for months.  The Blog also found a large pile of concrete bricks that had likewise been left in the area for months. 

As the photos below show, weeds are growing profusely in the gardens and the gravel path through the gardens is showing serious weather erosion with weeds growing in it.

With an overall maintenance budget of more than $3 million dollars, the Blog finds it hard that the College can  justify this apparent lack of care for these gardens by the Prescott maintenance unit that is apparently in charge of the Verde Campus. This is especially true after taxpayers shelled out thousands of dollars for the gorgeous  landscaping and beautiful plantings.

(Photos taken May 19, 2017.)

Foundation honors Verde Valley’s Bobby Woods

Recognized by Yavapai College Foundation for his outstanding work raising  funds and making citizens aware of Verde Valley  programs

Cottonwood resident Bobby Woods received the Yavapai Community College Outstanding Volunteer Award at the Foundation’s annual luncheon May 10, 2017.  Mr. Woods began as a volunteer in 2009 when he was recruited by Ms. Ruth Wicks to join the Yavapai Community College Foundation’s Greater Verde Valley Chapter. When President Penelope Wills essentially closed down the Verde Valley Chapter, Woods joined the Friends of the “Southwest Wine Center,” which is a fundraising auxiliary for the Yavapai Community College Foundation. Since 2009 he has volunteered hundreds of hours first with the now defunct Chapter and then the successor Southwest Wine Center auxiliary.  Congratulations to Bobby Woods for his commitment to higher education in the Verde Valley and the well-deserved recognition.



A story about the award in the Verde Independent written by Bill Helm can be accessed by clicking here.

Dr. Barbara Waak has accepted the position of Associate Dean for the Verde Valley Campus

Interim Dean receives permanent appointment (A Verde Valley Advocate)

The College has announced that Dr. Barbara Waak has accepted the position of Associate Dean for the Verde Valley Campus. Dr. Waak will begin her duties immediately.

Dr. Waak was a finalist in the College’s national search in 2015 for this position behind Dr. Kelly Trainer. She was appointed interim Verde Valley Campus Dean in August, 2016 after Dr. Trainor tendered his resignation. She has served in that capacity since her appointment.

Dr. Waak is entering her 23rd academic year on the Verde Valley Campus. She has served in many capacities over her tenure at the College, including Faculty Senate President and Dual Enrollment Liaison for the English Department. She is also an alumni of Yavapai College, attaining an A.A. in education with honors. Dr. Waak earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Secondary Education and English/Linguistics from Northern Arizona University. She went on to receive a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Capella University in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2005.

When interviewed by Zachary Jernigan for the May 3, 2017 edition of the Cottonwood Journal Extra, Dr. Waak said that she was “very dedicated to this (Verde) campus.” Waak also told the reporter that many in the Verde Valley feel that they have been forgotten by the College’s administration in Prescott and need a local advocate.


Sedona renovation, College for Kids, CTEC and new concurrent courses moving forward

Verde Valley Executive Dean James Perey reported on the progress of various projects in the Verde Valley at the May 9, 2017 board meeting. According to Dr. Perey, the following is a list of new programs and projects underway.

  • The $5.4 million renovation at the Sedona Center will be completed by the end of July, 2017.
  • A new “sprung floor” to be paid by Yavapai Community College will be installed at the Performing Arts Center at the Red Rock high school. The seven-day project is expected to be completed by the fall semester. The College and the high school will begin a cooperative performing arts program this fall.
  • The “College for Kids” summer program attracted 485 students in 2016. This year Dean Perey expects an even larger attendance. He attributes the success of the program to cooperation between Yavapai Community College and the local school districts in the Verde Valley.
  • The final acre of the vineyard on the Verde Campus was planted the end of April. This brings the total acreage to about 13.5.
  • The culinary program at the Sedona Center will begin this fall with morning classes open to all high school and Community College students.
  • A new medical assistance program for high school and Community College students will begin on the Verde Campus this fall. 
  • Dr. Perey anticipates an intergovernmental agreement between the career and technical education district in the Verde Valley and Yavapai Community College to be executed at the June, 2017 Governing Board meeting.

Dr. Perey’s six minute report to the Governing Board follows.