“SCHOOL’S OUT FOR SUMMER!” The classic lyric sung by thousands of students every year doesn’t apply to the crew working on Shelby County’s Area Technology Center. In fact, the expansion, which began less than a year ago, will shift into another gear now that students will be out of the building for a few months.
For anyone who has driven Rocket Lane over the past nine months, there is clear evidence that big things are happening in Shelby County with regard to Career and Technical Education. Our visionary Board of Education agreed to fund a $10 million expansion to the Area Technology Center, which will nearly double the square footage of the facility and foster a growing regional trend.
Kentucky, with its central location to the nation, and Shelby County, which is poised in an ideal location to support the metros of Louisville and Lexington, are seeing a continued rise in advanced manufacturing needs. Locally, a declining unemployment rate and a growing need for skilled labor have also caused leaders to respond.
Shelby County’s Area Technology Center serves students from Shelby, Henry, and Spencer Counties. The programs offered in the school include Information Technology, Business, Healthcare, Automotive, and Advanced Manufacturing (Industrial Maintenance and Machine Tool Technology.) The school's expansion will not only allow these programs to grow but will also clear the way for the addition of Welding and Diesel Mechanics.
According to Superintendent Neihof, one of the most telling pieces of evidence that we are heading in the right direction was the awarding of a $3.2 million grant to the school system by the Kentucky Work Ready Skills Initiative. “Nearly half of the award is designated to support our ATC expansion project with modern equipment and supplies.”
The impressive ATC project not only calls for the addition of space, but a redesign of existing space - remodeled classrooms, converted labs, and redesigned office spaces to name a few. And, now that the classrooms are empty of students for a few months, the construction crew will expand their focus to include the existing portions of the school. Stay tuned!