The East Valley Institute of Technology has purchased the former Fazoli’s restaurant property in west Mesa to convert into a restaurant that will be refurbished and eventually operated by EVIT students.
The governing board approved the $245,000 purchase of the property, located just east of the Dr. A. Keith Crandell Main Campus, 1601 W. Main St., during its Monday night meeting.
Fazoli’s closed the restaurant several years ago, and since then it has remained vacant. EVIT Superintendent Sally Downey said homeless people had been staying inside and there has been extensive damage from thieves vandalizing the property.
Downey plans to make the property a school project with Welding, Construction and HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) students repairing and refurbishing the building. Then Interior Design students will renovate and decorate.
The re-build is expected to be finished within a year. After that, Downey envisions EVIT’s Culinary department, perhaps in partnership with the school’s health programs, doing specialty cooking there. For instance, they might make meals to go for people with special dietary needs.
EVIT offers nearly 40 occupational training programs tuition-free to high school students and tuition-based to adults who live in Mesa, Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, Gilbert, Higley, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Queen Creek and J.O. Combs school districts. That includes charter school and home-schooled students too.
More than 4,000 students are currently enrolled at the Main Campus; East Campus, 6625 S. Power Road; Canyon State Academy, a residential school for at-risk youth in Queen Creek; and at Apache Junction High School through a new partnership in which the school’s career and technical education programs are operated by EVIT at the Apache Junction campus. In addition, EVIT funds satellite programs for thousands of other students at high school campuses in the 10 districts that make up the EVIT joint technological education district.
Students can still enroll for the 2013-14 school year. Call (480) 461-4000 or visit www.evit.com.