As part of a plan to invest in its workforce-readiness programs, College of the Canyons could move forward on a nearly $20 million plan for a 30,000-square-foot center Wednesday.
In closed session, the college’s governing board is expected to discuss details for the negotiation involving a purpose-built facility to expand the college’s career technical education programs, according to Eric Harnish, spokesman for the college.
The proposal involves two plots of land centrally located in the Santa Clarita Valley between Golden Valley and Valley Center drives, just north of both streets’ intersection with Soledad Canyon Road.
“The project is called the ‘Advanced Technology Center,’” Harnish said. “It’s an off-site facility that will train students in advanced manufacturing, CNC (machining), welding, fabrication and construction technologies.
“The plan is to purchase a built facility,” he added.
The facility would specialize in those types of programs, as well as house the large equipment necessary to run those programs, he added. The proposed purchase price for the property is $19,825,000, according to Harnish, who noted the money is coming from Measure E.
Board member Joan MacGregor said she was “hopeful and optimistic” about discussing the plans for the 3.76-acre site, noting there’s also an item on the agenda for the board to consider approving the deal in open session, if the board is happy with the closed-session discussion.
In addition to access near the Cross-Valley Connector, the plot of land gives COC a location right down the street from a number of industrial centers, as well as a location centrally located between its Canyon Country and Valencia campuses, MacGregor added.
She said workforce skills are not only in high demand from prospective students, but also the college’s programs have been very effective in helping their alumni start careers.
“I’ll just use welding for an example,” she said. “It’s amazing how those skills have changed and the instruction has changed in that area over the last 10 years.”
“Many students want to go to the college, get a certificate, and a degree in some cases … and be trained in a specific area — so that they can improve their work skills, maybe currently with their employer or maybe go out and train in a new field — so to me, that is a big emphasis,” she added.
The agenda item for approval of the project would “include both simulation and full-production type machine centers to prepare College of the Canyons students for stackable industry-recognized credentials to demonstrate the necessary skills for workforce-readiness as they work toward attaining their degrees.”
The college is negotiating with Intertex, which would be the developer of the project, according to the agenda item. The land is currently owned by VBC 3 Investors, which is affiliated with Aspen Management, which has offices in the Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys.
The last time the two properties involved in the negotiation were assessed was 21 years ago and they had a combined value of just over $1.5 million, according to the L.A. County Assessor’s Office.
“It’s an exciting project and there’s growing demand for skilled employees in these career fields,” Harnish said Monday. “The college is excited to move forward with these programs to meet the needs of local employers and create opportunities for students to gain the skills that lead to rewarding careers.”
The agenda also notes the facility could expand with growing need at its planned location.
“Intertex would construct a 30,000-square-foot warehouse building in the center-northeast portion of the site. If needed, the building could be expanded northward by 17,640 square feet, for a total building area of 47,500 square feet. Parking would be provided on the south and west sides of the building, and unless and until the building is expanded, parking would also be available on the north side of the building,” according to COC’s governing board agenda.
Measure E is a $230 million general obligation bond approved by Santa Clarita Valley voters in 2016.