Computer Learning Centers Inc., a chain of 27 trade schools that train students for entry-level jobs in the technology industry, announced this week that it will move its headquarters from Fairfax to Nokesville in Prince William County.

The company, which has been plagued by recent investigations and lawsuits, will also move its campus in Manassas to the new location.

CLC plans to move into a 60,000-square-foot building in December or January to lower costs and give the company more room to grow, said Charles Cosgrove, chief financial officer.

The company will move about 60 corporate employees into the new headquarters, along with 60 to 75 employees from the school. The new headquarters will have room for about 700 to 800 students. About 600 students attend classes at the Manassas location.

"It gives us the opportunity to consolidate the Manassas school and the corporate headquarters into one building," Cosgrove said.

CLC, which had been considered one of the area's fastest growth technology companies, had to give about $650,000 in refunds this year to students at its Laurel campus who couldn't pass entrance exams, had not graduated from high school or lacked other qualifications after an investigation by the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

The company also was sued by the Illinois attorney general in 1998 for allegedly defrauding students, and was investigated by the U.S. Department of Education.

CLC reported a loss for fiscal year 1999 of $500,000.

Cosgrove said that since Prince William has more space than Fairfax, the 20-year lease in Nokesville will allow the company growth opportunities.

"It allows us to be in a very fast-growing area and gives our people the chance to live in Prince William, which costs less than Fairfax," he said.