Culinary Arts Campaign In High Gear

by Cougar News Contributor 506 views0

This fall semester COC launched a campaign to raise money to build a new contemporary on campus Culinary Arts facility in efforts to be more accessible and efficient for students.

The campaign for the new facility began in October and continue campaigning for the next three years.

“It is up to COC’s Chancellor Dianne Von Hook to decide when to begin construction,” said Wood. “We hope to begin construction in the next year and a half to two years.”

Once all of the necessary funds are raised, construction will take as long as a year to complete.

The Culinary Arts program has been consistently impacted since 2006 with a waiting list as long as the enrollment list, and expected to triple in enrollment with the new building.

A Valencia campus facility will allow the Culinary Arts program to teach over 300 students annually versus the current estimated 80 students.

COC’s Culinary Arts program has been housed in three separate facilities: the campus cafeteria, a restaurant space at the Valencia Town Center and a currently leased restaurant space in Castaic.

The Culinary Arts programs has leased restaurant locations like the one in Castaic for about six years and need a permanent facility, according to Chief Development Officer Murray Wood. The temporary off-site facilities are leased annually, resulting in having to find a new site once the lease contracts are up.

An on-campus facility will allow students to have accessibility to general academic support such as student services, tutorial assistance, computers labs, and the library without the inconvenience of traveling to another location.

The new facility originally 5,000 square feet, expanded to a 5,600 square feet architectural style building that underlines the simplicity of reflective glass surface similar to nearby buildings and an elegant sophistication appropriate for educational and social purposes.

The interior layout will include a “Show Kitchen,” “Sweets Kitchen,” an area for “Wine Studies,” a “Culinary Lab space,” and instructor office spaces.

The building will be designed by the college’s master architect Kruger Bensen Ziemer Architects Inc. of Santa Barbara, Calif.

On the iCUE foundation webpage the estimated cost of construction is $4.7 million, but has increased to $6.7 million to accommodate more classrooms and future plans suggested by a committee member, according to Wood. The new building will be located on the south end of the campus near the Village classrooms.

In late 2010, the iCUE received $3 million towards the new facility from the college’s library expansion cost under budget. In recent months, COC has raised $246,000 from donations and foundation grants.

The iCUE foundation plans to use an “old fashion” approach raise money through cash contribution, donations, corporate sponsors, and foundation grants. There is hope for sponsorships from food companies, supermarkets, and restaurants.

The iCUE currently offers certificates in Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry, Wine Studies, and Hospitality Wine Service. The new facility will enable the college to create an associate degree programs in culinary arts and wine studies.

The iCUE plans to combine the Hotel and Restaurant Management and other business management courses for students studying in similar fields.

The demand for Culinary Arts-trained people According to the National Restaurant Association has increased 9 to 17 percent since 2004 and is projected to continue increasing.

More information on the new iCUE building can be found on the COC website and anyone who has questions about donating can contact Murray Wood at 661-362-3433

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