Art Institute Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A Las Vegas trade school is set to close at the end of March.

The state is already preparing to help more than 500 students currently enrolled at the Art Institute of Las Vegas, but one instructor is determined to keep the doors open.

Currently, an online petition has more than 3,000 signatures to keep the Art Institute of Las Vegas open. William Turbay is the instructor behind it. He said he hopes it will catch the attention of local lawmakers and the courts before it’s too late.

"There’s no reason to close the school. None whatsoever," Turbay said.

Interior design, video game animation and fashion history are just some of the courses offered at the Art Institute of Las Vegas.

But by March 31, the school’s parent company Dream Center Education Holdings plans to close 30 campuses nationwide.

It cited declining enrollment as one of its many reasons. A court in Ohio is set to rule on its assets.

"If they close the school down, we lose everything," Turbay said. "I mean desks and computers, that’s nothing. It’s the students who are the assets here."

Many students, who Turbay said, are just months away from graduation.

"This is a heartache. This is terrible."

The Art Institute would be the latest on a list of trade schools to close its doors in the valley.

"We don’t want to be another Le Cordon Bleu. We don’t want to be another ITT," Turbay said. "There are too many schools that have closed. There’s no other school like this in Nevada. They’d all have to move out of town."

And in this sleepless town, Turbay said losing these skilled workers would hurt.

"The local economy is going to suffer. I mean c’mon!" Turbay said. "Somebody’s got to help us intervene not to close the school down."

So instead of just wishing and hoping, Turbay is doing everything he can.

"If the parent company has problems, let’s start our own school," he said. "We just need time to re-accredit."

He is reaching out to investors, local lawmakers and created an online petition. Turbay wants the court to allow the Las Vegas school to separate from its parent company.

"We’re willing to reorganize. We formed a company to reorganize," Turbay said.

The company is called Saved the Art Institute of Las Vegas LLCC.

An instructor at the school for 16 years, Turbay wants to continue teaching students for many more.

"It’s not just the money, it’s the students," he said. "Don’t destroy students lives. That’s horrible."

FOX5 spoke to several students and parents who said they would still attend and support the school if it became locally owned.

For more information or to sign the petition, click here.

To contribute to legal fees, click here

Copyright 2019 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved

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