The reason was a simple one as is often the case and happened as I was touring the newly opened and renovated Career Technical Center at the Somersworth High School.
I’ve been lucky enough to observe the entire process that made this 6.5 million dollar possible from the time of it’s inception, to it’s ground breaking and of course the completion of the project. I’m still amazed at the speed of the project. The groundbreaking took place on March 26th 2016 and here I was stood in the completed building just 6 months later.
The center now offers students ten courses, and each of those courses are tailored to meet the demands of today’s employers and jobs market. Of course the area that drew me was performing arts studio and as a large crowd gathered for the official opening ceremony, that’s exactly where we found ourselves.
A large space that contained a large screen on which would soon appear School Superintendent Jeni Mosca and School Board Chairman Don Austin who were being filmed upstairs in the state of the art broadcasting suite. A brief welcome was given and many thanks expressed to all those who had helped make the building that we were stood in a reality. After the speech we moved to the large stairway that connects the buildings two floors for the official ribbon cutting ceremony.
After this, those in attendance were encouraged to explore and that’s exactly what I did. My journey began in the culinary arts kitchen which contains state of the art equipment. It also includes a large classroom which once housed the old restaurant that I’m sure many in the city have attended once or twice in their lives. Now that space is a state of the art classroom with a large demonstration area, large screen that allows students to see any demonstrations and is food network worthy in my opinion. The new restaurant has doubled in size and allows seating for around 90 which is almost double the size of the old one.
I moved on and took a peek inside the automotive classrooms and the building trades. I was not aware that in order to take a course at the CTC students must have attained certain grades and also interview for the course. This was something I learned in the building trades center after talking to one of the instructors. All of the classroom are clean, offer state of the art equipment and for building trades all important ventilation, something that was lacking in the old facility.
I walked upstairs and found my way to one of the new programs offered by the center: medical assistance. Inside the large classroom were the words compassion and empathy on the wall, a good start. There was also a mock doctors office, a phlebotomy lab and a fully function disabled shower. Each of these are designed to give the students hands on practice which will eventually lead to them being able to take a job within a medical facility. There is also a large bank of laptops which students learn to operate the front office of a modern doctors office. As with each of the other courses offered once completed a student will earn college credits or be in a position to be able to be hired by a Dr’s office.
I finally found myself inside the broadcasting technology room where a green background was surrounded by a bank of modern camera’s which I have become familiar with over the past few months. Some of you may know that Mayor Hilliard and myself began a program sometime ago on channel’s 22 and 95 called “The Echo.” I have a feeling that an episode of the Echo will be filmed in this beautiful facility very soon, so watch for that in the near future.
As I walked out of the building I was struck by the thought that the building is much bigger than it appears from the outside. I also resolved to revisit the center in the near future and explore more. I also hope that in the future the CTC will be able to offer adult classes in the evening as well as all it offers Somersworth’s students during the day.
In the meantime I would like to add my congratulations on a job well done to all those involved n this project. These include members of the city council, the JCB committee, school staff, contractors and senators and many more. Thanks to your hard work, I almost want to go back to school, almost…