By Eugenia Jones
London Tourism Board wants SCC culinary program relocated to their town
According to an article in the London Sentinel-Echo, members of the London City Tourism Board are eagerly pursuing the potential relocation of Somerset Community College’s culinary arts program from Whitley City to downtown London. The Board Members anticipate such a move would help revitalize London’s downtown area by attracting and diversifying restaurants in that section of town. London City Tourism Executive Director Chris Robinson and Board Member Lois McWhorter, a former SCC teacher, highlighted key components of such a proposal during a recent London Tourism Board meeting. According to the Sentinel-Echo article, the building being contemplated to accommodate the culinary program is the former London City Fire Department Building, which presently contains city tourism and parks and recreation offices. Somerset Community College (SCC) would be asked to move the program’s high-end culinary equipment from Whitley City to the new downtown location with the city of London bearing the cost for any necessary makeovers to the building. With the tourism board strongly in favor of the proposed move, the plan now goes before London City Council for their approval.
Somerset Community College Interim President Dr. Tony Honeycutt confirmed there have been conversations regarding the move of the culinary program; however, he said the college has not received a final proposal from the city of London and no final decision has been made. Honeycutt stated the culinary program is currently under review as college officials look at several different options to increase the program’s enrollment.
“We are reviewing multiple options in an effort to increase the program’s enrollment,” Honeycutt remarked. “Those options include, along with others, better marketing and different recruiting techniques.”
Somerset Community College initiated its culinary arts program at the McCreary Center in Whitley City in the fall of 2010. In addition to preparing students to be professional chefs, the program readies them for careers in culinary arts, food and beverage management, restaurant management, catering, and institutional food service.