Artist’s rendering of the new, $6.7 million Culinary Arts Facility at College of the Canyons, which will house the Institute for Culinary Education.
The Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees and Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook will host a ground-breaking ceremony to officially begin construction of the college’s state-of-the-art Institute for Culinary Education (iCuE).
Plans for the college’s new on-campus culinary facility call for a roughly 12,000-square-foot building — housing a variety of kitchens, classrooms and laboratories — located at the southeast corner of the Valencia campus, near Mentry Hall.
Individual elements expected to be part of the facility’s final design are a show kitchen, a savory kitchen, a sweets kitchen, a banquet kitchen, a wine studies classroom, multiple culinary labs and a variety of instructor office spaces.
Coming at a total cost of roughly $8 million, the project will be entirely district-funded, paid for through a combination of private donations and Measure M bond funds that were remaining after completion of the college’s recent Library Expansion project.
The project is currently scheduled for completion in the fall 2014 semester, with an expected spring 2015 occupancy date.
Upon its completion, the iCuE will provide a permanent home for the college’s culinary arts department and greatly expand the number of locally available training opportunities for students interested in this important career field.
In fact, the U.S. Department of labor has projected that Food Service management jobs are expected to grow by nearly 5 percent from 2008 to 2018.
In addition, it’s estimated that the Santa Clarita Valley and greater Los Angeles area have more than 2,000 restaurants of all types and sizes, which will need well-trained employees for generations to come.
However, to get the training they need students currently have very few affordable choices, since training at private culinary institutions can cost in excess of $50,000.
With COC courses costing just $46 per unit, students will soon be able to receive comparable culinary arts training for a fraction of the cost — providing a huge financial benefit to our students and filling a tremendous need within the community.
As an added benefit, COC culinary arts students will also be able to conveniently enroll in other “core” college classes needed to achieve a certificate or degree, without the inconvenience of having to travel back and forth between the college’s current off-campus iCuE location in Castaic.
“Having an on-campus culinary facility will make a significant difference in the lives of students who are trying to manage their time between the classroom and the kitchen and begin their careers,” said Cindy Schwanke, COC culinary arts instructor and lead iCuE faculty member. “The food service industry continues to grow, and employ millions of people. It’s exciting to know that College of the Canyons is a part of that.”
For direct access to the event – to be held Monday, Aug. 19, at 3:30 p.m. – attendees are encouraged to park in the college’s South Parking Lot #14 or #15, located adjacent to The Learning Center (TLC) and Mentry Hall. Both lots are accessible via the University Center Drive entrance off Rockwell Canyon Road.
For more information about the College of the Canyons Institute for Culinary Education (iCuE) please visit www.canyons.edu/iCuE.