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  News
College chain to buy AMI for 11mil
Tom Brown
 Corinthian Colleges, a California-based chain of vocational schools, announced Friday it intends to buy the American Motorcycle Institute for $11 million.

Dennis Beal, executive vice president of Corinthian, said his company has no plans to change the programs or tuition rates at the 32-year-old technical school, which occupies a 10-acre campus at 3042 W. International Speedway Blvd. Besides training motorcycle mechanics, the school runs 20-week programs for marine mechanics and personal watercraft specialists.

"We like it the way it is," said Beal in a telephone interview from his headquarters in Santa Ana, Calif. "It's a great school and we intend to grow it."

He said the company is planning some physical improvements to the institute, which uses a former 50,000-square-foot motel for classrooms, and aims to increase its enrollment. The school currently trains about 220 students at a time.

Lamar Williams, the 60-year-old chief executive of the institute, said he had been getting offers for the property for the past three or four years, but held off selling.

"Then this company came along and I decided they're the right people," Williams said. "They're school people."

Beal said Corinthian plans to complete the sale by Sept. 30. Corinthian representatives met Friday with the institute's 50-person staff to brief them on the change of ownership.

As part of the sale, Corinthian will assume a $460,000 mortgage on the property.

Corinthian operates 89 for-profit colleges in 22 states, plus 45 colleges and 15 corporate training centers in Canada. Its holdings include Florida Metropolitan University in Jacksonville and a National Institute of Technology branch in South Florida.

Williams was assured Corinthian has no plan to close or move the institute out of Daytona Beach, he said. He had begun planning for construction of a new classroom building at the ISB campus a while ago, but put the expansion plan on hold while the sale was being negotiated.

"We're turning students away because we don't have enough room," he said.

The institute was launched in 1972 by hotelier Howard Shaw and Williams took over soon after.


Composed: 06/22/2004 | Modified: 06/22/2004

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