Print South Verde tech school may relocate
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 00:00

What would you call South Verde Technology Magnet School if it was suddenly slightly northwest of the main public school campuses?

While Principal Steve King jokes about having his school called “Slightly Northwest Verde,” it’s a matter of finances for the Camp Verde Unified School District.

South Verde Technology Magnet School students do  schoolwork at their individual computers Thursday, Sept. 16. The Camp Verde Unified School District Governing Board is considering moving the alternative high school from its location on Main Street in Camp Verde to the building currently housing Yavapai College’s Camp Verde Campus.If the school moves, it won’t happen until the 2011-12 school year, CVUSD Superintendent Dan Brown said. The district is researching the issue in the meantime.

The school is currently located downtown on Main Street. Board member Judy Gilbert said the district is paying $7,000 a month to rent the building, and King said every square foot of it is being used.

Still, the district has a lot in common with other school districts in Arizona: Its budget is tight as a knot.

Any savings would be a wonderful addition to the local budget.

If the school were to move, the primary new location would likely be the building occupied by Yavapai College.

The college’s Camp Verde location on Apache Trail is owned by the Camp Verde Unified School District.

Brown said he has met with Yavapai College officials, and they are willing to work with the local school district.

Chris Schultz, director of operations for the school district, said the college may still want some office space and at least one classroom to use, but was cooperative about the future use of the building.

“At $7,000 a month, we can afford to move,” Gilbert said.

Schultz said he had talked with state officials and there was no prohibition regarding moving South Verde to the suggested location.

Even though the school is a rare public charter school, there isn’t a problem with housing it on public school property.

“We would do an in-depth study to make sure this would fit the program,” Brown said.

King said he was amenable to change at his school as long as the needs of the students were served.

“It’s still too early for me to weigh in,” King said. “I’m here to listen and ensure that what’s done is best for the students.”

If the school were to move, Brown said the district would have to figure out how to deal with South Verde’s sports teams.

Currently, South Verde’s athletes practice on the Town of Camp Verde’s property at the old high school gym, soccer field and basketball court.

If the school were to move, Brown said the district would have to work out a fair solution for all of the district’s student athletes, instead of just expecting that the district’s sport teams would yield and use the current public school practice areas. Every student athlete should be treated fairly.

Additionally, School Board President Tim Roth said the district needs to consider the fact that South Verde students feel a certain sense of ownership in their Main Street school.