Culinary Arts Department to get $8 Million makeover

by Katie Shirley 0

The Santa Clarita Valley has over 2,000 restaurants in need of well-educated culinary students, which has led College of the Canyons to develop a brand new Culinary Arts building that will be located on the Valencia Campus.

Although COC already provides a culinary arts program located in Castaic, its next major project is to develop a permanent Culinary Arts Department on campus that will provide classes to students at $46 per unit.

The building is projected to cost about $8 million and encompass an area of about 12,000 square-feet. The COC renovations for the library managed to be completed under budget leaving an extra $3 million for the new Culinary Arts building. Wells Fargo has also provided donations to aid in the development of this building and further donations were accepted.

The U.S. Department of labor says the need for Food Management professionals will increase by nearly 5 percent in the upcoming years which has been a leading factor in creating a permanent Culinary Arts Department building.

“In the years to come, this industry will be a leader in creating new jobs,” says Cindy Schwanke, the lead faculty member for the Culinary Arts Department.

The department will provide:  a demonstration kitchen, a savory kitchen, a sweets kitchen, an area for wine studies, a culinary lab space, herb garden, large dining area and instructor office spaces

Students who receive their certificate through this program can expect to achieve entry-level culinary positions. The new facility will also offer the opportunity for students to achieve their Culinary Arts Associate in Art degree and a certificate in wine studies.

The project began with an opening ceremony held south of Mentry Hall. The project will be completed by the fall of 2014.

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