Students and faculty celebrated the official opening of a new location for the Coconino Association for Vocations, Industry and Technology (CAVIAT) Friday afternoon.
The building, near Fourth Street and Lockett Road, is one of three new locations the program added this year. The other locations are in Williams and Fredonia, said CAVIAT Superintendent Brent Neilson.
Organizers held a ceremonial ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, although teachers and students had already been using the building for their classes.
The program, which enrolls about 150 students countywide, did not have a physical location before, said Career and Technical Education program coordinator Christine Mayer.
“We rented a classroom from Sinagua Middle School last year,” Mayer said. “We never had an office or classroom to call home before.”
Mayer said she also had to adjust to having an office of her own, after working out of a car traveling to other campuses in previous years. The program supplies students with the books and materials needed for the classes, which Mayer has now been able to store at the new location.
The Flagstaff location houses the Fashion Design and Merchandising and Medical Professions Foundations programs. Students enrolled in those programs go to the CAVIAT location for about 2.5 hours for five days per week, Neilson said.
Mayer said leaders are in the process of turning the second medical classroom at the new location into a lab, complete with a hospital bed and medical equipment for students to use for practice. The fashion and merchandising lab is completed, with sewing materials and equipment for students to use.
Other CAVIAT programs are offered either at Coconino Community College or the other new campuses. The high schools involved also offer CTE classes on their campuses, which CAVIAT calls satellite programs. Flagstaff, Williams, Page, Grand Canyon and Fredonia districts are all CAVIAT members.
The programs are geared toward high school upperclassmen, and students can earn dual community college credit for select CAVIAT classes, Neilson said.
CAVIAT is funded by a voter-approved tax, and students pay a $25 program fee per year for conferences and competitions, Neilson said. He said it is an inexpensive way for students to get a head start on college credits.
“We have kids that come out with 40 or more credits that they didn’t have to pay for,” Neilson said.