COOLIDGE — As enrollment levels continue to rise at the Central Arizona Valley Institute of Technology, the school has unveiled plans to expand its central campus.
At the beginning of the 2019-20 school year, CAVIT announced that total enrollment at the school had reached historic levels — with numbers topping out at 815 students.
“We know this year that we have increased enrollment at our Central Campus and we’ve been celebrating that fact throughout this semester,” Superintendent Mike Glover told members of the Governing Board at Wednesday’s regularly scheduled meeting. “But as we look toward next year, we know that there are two programs that will potentially (see) an impact relative to the high numbers they have this year.”
The two programs likely to be affected if enrollment at CAVIT continue to increase are cosmetology and medical assisting.
About 50 first-year students are currently enrolled in the cosmetology program — a record high for the Career and Technical Education program. In previous years, cosmetology saw a combined enrollment totaling under 50 first- and second-year students.
The increased enrollment within the program could warrant the need to hire on an additional instructor in the next school year, Glover noted. Another issue the program may face in the coming year is the need for additional classroom space.
“Our challenge is, as we try to keep those 50 (students) engaged to come back next year, where is the classroom space for the new students to come given that we have such a large number of first-years?” Glover said.
The school’s medical assisting program may also be facing a similar dilemma. For the 2019-20 school year, program enrollment for first-year students alone reached 105.
Although the program is taught by two separate teachers in two classrooms, school administration indicated the classroom that is currently used to teach second-year students is not large enough to accommodate the number of students that will be progressing onto their second year of the program in the 2020-21 school year.
In addition, second-year medical assisting is currently being taught in a classroom within the cosmetology wing — leaving no room for the cosmetology program to grow.
“Currently we do not have any open classrooms on our campus,” Glover said. “Every classroom is being used.”
CAVIT is seeking to address the issue by building another classroom for the medical assisting program. The additional classroom would also free up space to accommodate increased enrollment in cosmetology.
For the CTE school district, this is far from the first time that enrollment numbers have warranted the construction of an additional facility. In 2018, the school unveiled the newly constructed nursing assisting classroom, developed in light of increased numbers within the program.
The 3,000-square-foot classroom would be constructed adjacent to the section of campus specifically designated for medical assisting and would include a lab area. The projected cost to construct the facility is about $912,711.
The proposed project, which will be constructed through a contract with Sun Valley Builders, LLC., was unanimously approved by the governing board with board member Alma Farrell absent.
Construction on the project, Glover noted, will likely be completed by July 2020.
The school district may also consider adding an additional 60 parking space to the campus — an option that Glover said might come before the Governing Board in the Spring.