CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Charlottesville City Schools responded to the Albemarle County Public School division's announcement saying they are in talks to take over the Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center.

Right now, it's a joint venture between CCS and ACPS, but CCS officials say they were caught off guard by the announcement.

CCS spokesperson Lisa Larson-Torres said there were superficial meetings to start discussing the possibility, but suddenly, their next meeting was canceled.

CCS has no interest in leaving the partnership.

“And from the get-go, we said we weren't interested in changing that relationship. I mean we're committed and think there are benefits to both divisions working together and being able to serve the students," Torres said.

CATEC's student enrollment is going up more than 20 percent this year.

In its release, ACPS says its interest is based on modernizing the CATEC facility, including using a "project-based" learning approach to the curriculum and offering programs that expand connections to private employers.

Charlottesville students would still be allowed to attend.

Torres says CCS has put effort and money into CATEC, and the loss would be devastating.

"It's a huge loss. And it's something that we readily and historically have invested in for our students. You know looking at the programs and desires for students, options for students as far as being work ready, to graduate from those programs and already have a job as they graduate," Torres said.

ACPS says it hopes the sale will go through in the coming months. CCS says the next steps will most likely involve both district's lawyers and figuring out the agreement.