COOLIDGE — Central Arizona Valley Institute of Technology plans to expand its programs moved one step closer to fruition Monday night when the Coolidge City Council approved entering into an amended and restated lease agreement with the school.
Coolidge City Manager Rick Miller, noting CAVIT has expanded in the last few years, said the amended lease is for another 6.35-acre plot to the south of the school on West Coolidge Avenue.
The original leased site is 9.26 acres, so the expansion would increase the size to more than 15 acres
CAVIT has been paying $22,212 a year to lease the land where the school is, and it will be charged another $16,000 for the land where the expansion will take place.
After the council meeting CAVIT Superintendent Mike Glover said the expansion is needed for a new program that will focus on the construction and electrical trades and heavy equipment operating.
Glover said the process, if his board approves the lease next Wednesday, will be a two-year process.
He said the plan would be for CAVIT to enter into a partnership with Central Arizona College, where students could attend while the expansion is completed.
“We will partner with CAC next year to jump them off at (the college) to offer that training,” he said. “We are nine months out, so that gives us time to recruit students.”
When CAVIT opened and began offering programs to students there was not a huge demand for workforce development, but workforce needs have increased since then. The school accepts students from high schools over a large part of Pinal County.
Glover said the school and council would look into a master plan as the site continues to grow and expand.
“We really enjoy having CAVIT in our community,” Miller said.
Mayor Jon Thompson said CAVIT has been a big addition to the city.
“I did not know how it was going to work, but it turned out well,” Thompson said.
Construction on two additional classrooms is finishing up to assist some large segments of the school population, he said.
Glover reiterated that the CAVIT board still needs to sign off on the agreement with the city.