School Board Unveils Cornerstone at El Reno Campus

Canadian Valley Technology Center Board of Education members are joined by staff from MA+ Architecture of Oklahoma City at the unveiling of the El Reno Campus cornerstone. Pictured (from left) are MA+ staff Katie Byers, principal architect Gary Armbruster, Leanna Richter, Brandon Conklin, Cathy Lynch and Heath Tate. CV Tech board members include Jimmie Vickrey, George Fina, Travis Posey, Rick Garrison, newly elected member Christy Stanley and CV Tech Superintendent Dr. Greg Winters.

May 13, 2016

EL RENO – Another milestone has been reached at Canadian Valley Technology Center nearly three years after a devastating tornado destroyed the El Reno Campus.

The school’s Board of Education unveiled a new cornerstone at the reconstruction site, which is now roughly six months from completion.

Superintendent Dr. Greg Winters called the cornerstone reveal a defining moment in the school’s storied history.

“Canadian Valley has always offered world-class training, and we’ll soon have a facility to match in the safest environment of its kind in the country,” Winters said.

The etched, black cornerstone block includes the school’s logo and three years with messages beneath each: 1970, “from the beginning,” 2013, “through the storm,” 2016, “and into the future.”

A May 31, 2013 tornado destroyed all nine buildings at the campus as the widest ever recorded twister swept through Canadian County just after 6 p.m. that day.

Since that time, Canadian Valley officials relocated staff and faculty twice. In the immediate aftermath of the storm, employees took up residence at the Dr. Earl Cowan Campus in south Yukon. That was until the former John Holt Chevrolet dealership was readied for occupancy across town.

The three-story dealership had been vacant for several years. The building has served as an adequate facility for 14 of CV Tech’s full-time programs.

There was not ample room for all of the programs. Aviation Maintenance training was relocated to Will Rogers World Airport, and Early Care and Education was moved to Church of Christ South Yukon.

Meanwhile, school officials sought area patrons’ help in paying the $45 million price tag to rebuild the 225,000 square feet of training space.

Insurance reimbursements would not cover needs, such as landscaping, roads and sprinkler systems. Winters also insisted on constructing storm shelters to safeguard students, faculty and staff. Five shelters meeting FEMA standards were built in various parts of the facility.

A vote of confidence came courtesy of an April 1, 2014 bond issue election. Passage provided the school with an additional $12 million, which covers the difference between the cost of construction and the insurance settlement.  

Reconstruction is progressing at the site on Historic Route 66 in east El Reno. Winters estimates that the facility will be ready for full occupancy for the second semester next school year, or January 2017.

Canadian Valley Technology Center opened in 1970 as a publicly funded school providing full-time career training to high school and adult students. CV Tech also provides short-term courses and affordable customized industry training for area businesses. Campuses are located in El Reno, Yukon and Chickasha.