Funds directed to Lawrence for technological education | New

Lawrence County Schools is one of nine districts that have received state funding for the renovation of local vocational education centers. The Kentucky School Facilities Construction Commission board approved $ 9.28 million for Lawrence on Wednesday.

The district could request up to $ 10 million in funding and the money “can be used to cover the cost of renovations, which include updating, expanding, repairing, replacing or rebuilding an area. structure, “according to a press release from Gov. Andy Beshear’s office. .

The Lawrence County School District will use the funds to expand its Technical Education Center (CTE) and renovate the existing space, according to Superintendent Robbie Fletcher. A “newer, nicer greenhouse with cutting edge technology” is on the way for Lawrence, said Fletcher.

Enhanced career technical classes and an additional room for the JROTC program and carpentry classes will help these programs grow, Fletcher said. The district is trying to add a computer lane, and the reconstruction will make room for the program, the superintendent said.

“This is a great opportunity, this is a great opportunity for the students of Lawrence County and we are very grateful for it,” said Fletcher.

Lawrence County has no nickel tax, which allows for greater bonding potential. It specifically impacts buildings. Without the grant, renovations and upgrades to the technical center would take years.

The tech center was among the top three priorities for where to invest money for construction, but a new elementary school takes the top spot when it comes to using local funds. Receiving this grant means that the schedule for renovations increases by at least a decade, if not 15 years.

“This opportunity, at best, would have lasted 10 years for our kids just because we don’t have the nickel tax funding that a lot of other districts have,” Fletcher said.

Now the district can modernize its CTE classrooms while putting local funding and linkage potential to the primary school, while hoping to pass the nickel tax, the superintendent said.

Fletcher explained that the past five years have been heavily focused on personalized learning in Lawrence County.

“The question I was asked was, Dr Fletcher, are we relevant to every child? »He recalled.

The district was already pushing for credited college courses for students seeking a future as a doctor, lawyer, teacher or other career requiring a degree of four years or more.

“But there is such a need in the workforce and there is also such a great need for interest on the part of our children who may not want to go to a four year old facility, they may want to go. in a two-year technical school or they may want to find something where they work with their hands, ”Feltcher said. “It allows us to better personalize children’s learning. And not only that, we are becoming, we are becoming more and more relevant to every child.

Personalized learning allows the district to take whatever a student wants to do for a career and prepare them for success.

“I don’t care if a kid wants to be a doctor, lawyer, teacher or welder or industrial maintenance, plumbing or electrician, it is all so important to our workforce, to our community that we want to be able to meet the needs. needs of each child as they progress, ”said the superintendent.

The funding gives the district more opportunities to meet the needs of every career path opportunity for students in Lawrence County. The programs will help prepare “students for technical work here and now,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher acknowledged the work of those who helped write and research for the grant. He thanked the management teams of the school and the central office for all their leadership work in obtaining funding.

“The staff at our high school, again, do a great job trying to meet the needs of each child. Again, this gives us another opportunity to do it, ”said Fletcher.

A meeting with an architect will take place within the next two weeks and the process with the Kentucky Department of Education will begin from there. Grant stipulations call for a land relocation by September 1, 2022. However, Fletcher hopes construction will begin much sooner.

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