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What began as a hopeful idea a year ago is one step closer to reality. On Friday, Oct. 7, visitors to Yavapai College Sedona Center and Yavapai College Verde Valley Campus got their first peek at renderings of the planned renovation to the Sedona Center.

“One of the biggest components is bringing the culinary program in,” SPS+ Architects’ Katherine Pratt said, adding that she took charge of the design for the renovation with the intent to account for two needs: Those of the culinary program Yavapai College plans to house in the Sedona Center and those of a general education and community education space.


Pratt said that the current configuration of classrooms presented challenges due to their layout, but ultimately said that the current plans allow for two separate kitchens and seven classroom spaces designed to accommodate a variety of classes. The layout of the center is being flipped, allowing for easier access through the expanded northern parking lot.

“Currently, on campus there’s a lot of going into one room to get into another room,” Pratt said, adding that the design allows for better circulation to classrooms and other spaces so that disruptions are kept to a minimum. In addition, at least one classroom will be outfitted with iTV software to allow for broadcasting meetings between college facilities.

Yavapai College Verde Valley Campus Dean James Perey said that two kitchens is a downgrade from the original prediction that a culinary program would require four kitchens. According to Perey, however, the current configuration will allow the savory and pastry kitchens to convert to commercial and chocolate kitchens, should the need arise.

“The one thing that was not met with this renovation is the music and performing arts,” Perey said, adding that Yavapai College is in talks with Sedona Red Rock High School to use the Sedona Performing Arts Center to accommodate the community’s desire for such programming.

“A better utilization of our resources right now is to partner with SPAC,” Perey said. “The question is, how do we leverage resources to bring programming to fruition?”

Yavapai College Community Education Director Dennis Garvey praised the design, saying that it is the culmination of a year-long process of gathering input from the Sedona community, determining what its needs are.

“It’s going to be a vital, vibrant building,” Garvey said. “We want this building to be open, accessible, meeting the needs of our community.”

Ultimately, Perey concluded, the building will serve two populations that sometimes appear in conflict. “It’s not one side or another. It’s for locals to use. It’s for tourists to use.”

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