It's the new school year and for students at Temple High School they will be starting it off with a bang, as they are introduced to the brand new Career and Technical Education Center.
The 113,000 square foot facility, worth $32 million, was paid for by a bond election three years ago, showing the community's investment in the students and their future. It has around 28 classrooms with labs or workspaces accompanying each one. The building was designed two years ago and construction finished up in just 18 months. Students interested in emergency services, becoming a vet, cosmetology and culinary skills, to name a few, will all have real-world practical areas.
"We collaborated with business partners across all of our programs to be able to align the spaces to what students will experience when the graduate high school," CTE Director Denise Ayres said.
Some of the skills, taught in the culinary, cosmetology, and veterinarian classes will have a direct impact on the community.
"For students studying in the veterinarian area, we have kennels, dog grooming tables, a dog run, and a reception area," said health and science teacher Elizabeth Maybin. "Where they will be able to accept clients from the community."
Many other classes will prepare students to get certifications such as an American Welding Society (AWS) Level 1 Certification, an Emergency Medical Technicial (EMT) Certification, or a Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) Cosmetology License. That means some students will be able to enter the work force and find good-paying jobs without ever stepping foot in a college. The ones that do go to college, however, will also be a step ahead.
"Everything that we do across all CTE programs is to prepare students for the workforce," Ayres said. "That could mean entering the workforce immediately after high school or continuing on to college."
Ayres told Channel 6 the programs include many of the high paying jobs the Texas legislature worked to support in a 2013 bill.
"We have 15 of the 16 career clusters that have been identified as high demand, high wage, high skill," Ayres said. "House Bill 5 identified the 16 different career clusters... career and technical education programs do get what we call weighted funding for the students in these courses."
Several workspaces in TISD's new CTE building was still getting set up Tuesday, but Temple's student will still get to take classes Wednesday on the first day of school.