PSRC turns dirt for the Career and Technology Education Center
PEMBROKE — The ground was laid Thursday for the historic Robeson County Technology and Career Education Center and Planetarium which will provide innovative technology and programs to students in the Robeson County public schools.
“It will be an excellent school of technology for young men and women,” said John Simmons, chairman of the PSRC Board of Education. “Technology has the power to transform the classroom into a special realm for students to experience real applications and the real world of today.”
“Since being elected to the PSRC Board of Education in 2012, the Secondary School and Career and Technology Planetarium has been a dream and a goal for the PSRC,” said Randy Lawson, Vice Chairman of the PSRC Board. education of the PSRC.
“I, along with current and former board members, are proud and grateful that this is now a reality that will greatly benefit PSRC students, while enriching our county and state.” , Lawson added.
Several Robeson County officials attended the ceremony, including local leaders, members of the Robeson County Public Schools School Board and others.
“Thank you to the PSRC for your support in making Robeson County a place to work, live and build a strong educational platform,” said Kellie Blue, County Executive for Robeson. “The new vocational and technology high school will help students explore strong career paths with a hands-on approach that is vital to Robeson County’s workforce.”
“We are thrilled to open a state-of-the-art facility that will allow us to expand our vocational and technical education programs to reach more students. This new facility provides new opportunities to offer multiple certifications and degrees that students can earn to launch them into a successful career,” said PSRC Superintendent Freddie Williamson.
Robeson County Director of Economic Development Channing Jones said the center will also have a positive and direct economic impact on the residents of Robeson County.
“The main driver of economic development in our country is the development of a skilled workforce. Establishing a Technological High School in Robeson County is critically important to preparing our next generation of highly skilled people,” Jones said.
“Creating high-tech and advanced technical education programs will help Robeson County and its many employers meet economic challenges and provide our community with the skills that will equate to higher wages and, therefore, better job performance. quality of life,” added Jones.
The center will house programs such as culinary arts, automotive technology, drones and more.
The center will also house the new Robeson Planetarium and Science Center. The planetarium facility was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew. It is now located at the central office of the PSRC.
“The new vocational and technology high school will not only open the doors to innovation, but also pave the way for new career opportunities for our students in Robeson County,” said Robeson County Commissioner John Cummings, who represents District 3. .
The building will include a Learning Commons area and multiple collaboration areas for students to work together across programs. Emphasis will also be placed on technologies in the classroom, as programs are offered and designed for various professions.
The project will be split into two phases. The first phase, which is fully funded, includes a 90,000 square foot building and the second phase includes additional program space. When completed, the Center is expected to span approximately 129,000 square feet.
According to Robbie Ferris, owner and CEO of SfL+a Architects, the plan is to design the building in its entirety, seek more funding, and then build the center all at once.
The project is currently funded at $59.99 million for Phase 1. Once Phase 2 funding is secured, the total project is expected to cost $96.91 million.
The district will continue to explore funding opportunities for the project.
“Thank you to the Robeson County Public Schools and the many community partners who are committed to the redesign of the latest vocational and technology high school,” said Wixie Stephens, Chair of the Board of Commissioners for Robeson County. “The new school will provide professional opportunities and career paths for students in Robeson County.”
“This project is an essential part of our efforts to champion student success. We are confident that this facility will serve as a beacon of hope as we continue down the path to a brighter and brighter future for the students and residents of Robeson County,” Williamson said.
Jessica Horne is the Communications Officer for Robeson County Public Schools. She can be reached at jessica.horne.robeson.k12.nc.us.