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Sun, Oct. 20

Yavapai College, Sedona Cultural Park finalize agreement

Yavapai College currently offers Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) and community education classes along with voice classes at its Sedona Center.

Yavapai College currently offers Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) and community education classes along with voice classes at its Sedona Center.

SEDONA -- Yavapai College and Sathcupa L.L.C., owner of the Sedona Cultural Park, have completed a land-swap agreement that allows the college to stay in its Sedona Center for Arts & Technology facility located in the Cultural Park.

Papers filed with the City of Sedona and Yavapai County show that the two parties traded land parcels within the Cultural Park. The college received property contiguous to its facility in exchange for five acres the college owned elsewhere in the Cultural Park. The contiguous property is needed for student parking and direct access to the main thoroughfare, Highway 89A. The College plans to spend about $1.5 million to complete the agreement and add the needed parking and access road. Work is scheduled to start later this fall.

"This is an ideal outcome for Yavapai College, the Cultural Park, and the people and city of Sedona," YC President Dr. Penny Wills said. "The community clearly cherishes this facility, and we're thrilled that we could make it work for all parties involved. We're planning to celebrate this success with a public event October 14 at the facility, so please save the date and look for more details to follow."

Herald Harrington, spokesperson for the Yavapai College District Governing Board and the longest serving member of the Board, says that resolving the Sedona Cultural Park situation has been an issue for about 12 years. Harrington has publicly commended the current YC administration for its diligence in securing an agreement that meets the needs of all parties. Mike Tennyson, owner of the Sedona Cultural Park, told the Board at its June meeting, "We've been working with Yavapai College over the last year to develop this land exchange, which also helps us moving forward with the development of the Cultural Park," Tennyson said. "We're excited about that."

Yavapai College currently offers Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) and community education classes along with voice classes at its Sedona Center. The college's Regional Economic Development Center (REDC) and Small Business Development Center (SBDC) also have offices in the facility to support Sedona's and the Verde Valley's economic development efforts. The SBDC office there recently added a business analyst, Kathy Bazan, to its staff to enhance its services.

Now that the facility issue is settled, Yavapai College can focus on what additional programming can and should be offered at its Sedona Center. The Sedona Film School, which had been housed at the center, is currently suspended while the college reviews the program to see if it fulfills an economic need in Yavapai County and how it can be offered at a reasonable cost to students and to county taxpayers. A report/recommendation is due later this year. The college is also studying the possibility of creating a hospitality certificate and/or degree program in the Verde Valley and Sedona.

"We're also neighbors to other Cultural Park residents, and we want to be good neighbors," Dr. Wills said. "As new programs develop there, they can count on support from Yavapai College."

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