It also proposed other changes to help make the facility more profitable.
"If Cedar Lakes Conference Center is expected to operate as a successful business, then it must be able to function in a market economy," the audit said.
That, the audit said, wouldn't happen under the Department of Education's guidance.
"If the State chooses to continue public sector operation of CLCC, it should be administered by a department with the appropriate resources, expertise and mission to support such an endeavor, such as the Department of Administration, or even the Department of Education and the Arts," the audit said.
The state Board of Education agreed with this finding in its response to the audit, and requested the facility be moved to another agency.
"Looking at the big picture, the board has always said we think it would be better utilized if another state agency could take over Cedar Lakes," Cordeiro said.
Employees at the conference center were told about the potential cutbacks Thursday. That launched a heated response on social media protesting the move.
A "Save Cedar Lakes Conference Center" Facebook group created Thursday night had already amassed more than 3,200 members by Friday afternoon.
However, officials cautioned the move is not final. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's office has yet to review the agency's budget request to decide what he will propose to the Legislature early next year.
Lawmakers in the House of Delegates and state Senate will also have their say in the budget process, and whether to move administration of the facility to another agency, during next year's legislative session.
Cordeiro cautioned that the proposal is simply a suggestion at this time and is nowhere near to being final.
"It's all under consideration - it's not a done deal," she said.
Contact writer Jared Hunt at busin...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.