Austin’s largest culinary school will shutter in the next two years, if not sooner.
Career Education Corporation, the parent company of the Austin Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, announced on Wednesday that it would close all 16 of its U.S. campuses by September 2017. The school will stop enrolling new students in January, but current students can finish their studies.
In 2013, the company paid $40 million to settle a lawsuit from former students who claimed that the recruiters had overpromised compensation for graduates. In May of this year, it announced that it was getting out of the career education business, focusing on online schools instead.
This week, the company said that it had been in negotiation to sell the campuses but that it couldn’t come to an agreement with potential buyers.
The school started out as the Texas Culinary Academy in 1981, making it the longest running culinary school in Austin. At its height, the school had more than 1,000 students. In 2001, Le Cordon Bleu bought the school and moved it to a larger campus at the Domain. (Its previous location at 6020 Dillard Circle is where the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts is now located.)
Officials with the Austin campus have not yet responded to a request for comment or more details, but I will update this post when they do.