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Building Purchase Paves Way for Technical Education Complex in P - KOAM TV 7

Building Purchase Paves Way for Technical Education Complex in Pittsburg

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 The Pittsburg Education Foundation is working to create a technical education complex. The first step buying the old Vinlyplex building for eight hundred ninety thousand dollars.

The complex would impact students from five schools districts in Crawford County including Pittsburg, Frontenac, Southeast-Cherokee, Girard, and Northeast-Arma.

The building currently houses the construction trades programs administered through Fort Scott Community college but plans to add more programs. Students are  already hooked.

Mayson McCockle'sa welding student says, "cause it just  gets you ready for later in life. If you're not good at the college aspect, and   good at something else, this is what I' m better at. It's getting me ready for later in life."

Faith Vanbecelaere takes carpentry and says, “I'm interested in construction. I'm the kind of  girl who likes to build things, tear it down and build it again.  It's something I would like to take a step further."

Faith is a student at St. Mary's Colgan where the school hasn't been

able to offer technical classes.

Principal Tom Compton says,  "In the past we've been traditionally more college prep than being able to offer vocational trades. But in this day and age, we need to be able to offer kids the opportunity to choose from a  variety of career choices."

And that's the plan for the vinlyplex building now that it's owned by the education foundation. Programs being considered include culinary arts, plumbing, electrical, and hvac.

Chris Wilson the public information officer with USD 247 Southeast says, "It's not just good for  smaller school districts,  it will help all of us in this area.  Because it will allow us to share resources for  larger project based classes."

The buildings about fifteen  thousand square feet and  current programs like carpentry will be condensed to make room for the   hvac, electrical and plumbing and   then there's room to grow for other programs on some seventeen acres purchased with the building.

Scott Sutton an Ag instructor at Southeast says the high school teaches an  ag mechanics class which is a very basic class that gives them some  instruction on plumbing concrete, and electrical but we only teach them enough that maybe when they own a home someday  they could do the basics. Like change their water heater or put a switch in an electrical outlet. We don't go as in depth as they would there."

 And Wilson says its more career focused because students can earn certifications at the technical center.

  Right now a non-profit 501c3 board is being formed to plan the expansion.

     The Southeast Kansas Career Technical Ed Center of Crawford County Committee will include representatives from the county's five school districts and the business community.

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