Spartan College parent company buys L.A. aviation school
The parent company of Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology has purchased Los Angeles aviation school Crimson Technical College. The deal will make Spartan part of a two-branch chain of schools, creating a parent company called Spartan SP Investor LLC to oversee the venture.
Spartan President and CEO Peter Harris will run the new company Spartan as CEO and the college’s Vice President of Education Ryan Goertzen will take over the role of president of Spartan College.
“Like Tulsa, many of the world’s most prestigious aerospace companies have significant operations in Los Angeles,” Harris said in a statement. “Spartan College draws students from across the country and world, with its largest student groups from Texas and Oklahoma and the next largest from California.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The two schools will still be operated independently and Crimson President Robert Drake will continue in his role.
The deal comes 16 months after a private equity firm Sterling Partners purchased Spartan College and made plans to grow the campus.
“There may be some aligning of the schools over time, but right now they will remain independent,” Harris said.
Crimson Technical College is the largest aviation school in the Los Angeles area and focuses on aircraft maintenance. It has about 400 students and offers an 18-month aviation maintenance program.
The school is located in Inglewood just blocks from the Los Angeles International Airport.
Harris said the school’s location gives it access to employers at Los Angeles International Airport. The airport is a hub for American Airlines, United Airlines and Alaska Airlines among others and the primary gateway for American passengers traveling to Asia.
Harris said one of the school’s first tasks will be working on expanding the school’s programs, including associates and bachelor’s degree options.
Spartan is a for-profit, privately owned college that has been teaching students in Tulsa since 1928.
Spartan has about 700 students at its Tulsa campuses, where it has pilot training and aviation maintenance programs.
Harris was brought in to run the company in January, after running other companies for Sterling Partners. He said the school has plans to expand with campuses.
Crimson, too, has a long history in Los Angeles dating back to 1930. It was founded as the School of Aeronautics at Mines Field, what is now Los Angeles International Airport. It then became Northrop University.
For many years, Harris said, Northrop and Spartan were the largest and most competitive aircraft maintenance schools in the country.
“It’s really something to have pillars the two pillars of aviation maintenance training in the United States,” Harris said.