COOLIDGE — The Central Arizona Valley Institute of Technology board on Wednesday morning approved entering into an amended lease agreement with the city of Coolidge for additional land to add programs to the campus.
Superintendent Mike Glover said that CAVIT could not go out on its own to purchase land. The addition of the adjacent property is 6.53 acres.
The Coolidge City Council on Sept. 27 unanimously agreed to an amended lease with CAVIT, and on Wednesday its board voted to approve the amended lease and the new programs.
With the addition of the land the CAVIT campus will increase from 9.2 to 15.7 acres.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for us,” Glover said.
The amended lease will increase the cost from $22,212 to almost $38,000.
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” he said, explaining if they did not take advantage of this the land would go to someone else.
The Governing Board also approved expanding the school’s programs to include welding, construction/carpentry and heavy equipment machinery.
Because of the type of work these programs will entail, Glover said a typical classroom would not work for them.
Glover pointed to the booming housing industry as just one reason why it is so important to offer these programs.
CAVIT will partner with Central Arizona College to take students in the next school year who are interested in these programs while the construction of the expansion is underway.
Glover said the idea is to have the construction completed to allow students to complete their second year in the program at the campus.
The superintendent said this will help CAVIT become a bigger economic player in Pinal County in training students for additional jobs.
By the second year of the new program he thinks the school could add more students, as there is a large student interest in the three new programs.
He also stressed that CAVIT would not poach students from another school. A school in Casa Grande has a construction program for its students.
Board member Alma Farrell said while this is a real good step going forward she is disappointed the city of Coolidge charged as much as they did for the property, especially since it will be a benefit to the community.
“I know it’s to our advantage to do all of this,” Farrell said.
Board member Marty Baca said it’s really fantastic the city of Coolidge is offering this land.