A grand opening was held Wednesday night at the new Career and Technical Education Center at Basehor-Linwood High School.
The center has been in use since school began Aug. 17, but the public was invited to tour the building at the grand opening.
The 20,000-square foot building addition includes numerous career and technical education classrooms and labs, including areas for medical and health training, media and engineering. There are also several different learning environments, including presentation stairs, conference rooms and common spaces.
The center also includes a school store, The Den, that was the creation of the business classes at the center.
The $5 million center came as a result of a 2015 bond issue. Construction of the building took about two years.
“The Career and Technical Education Center has been a great addition to Basehor-Linwood High School,” Jarred Fuhrman said in an email. Fuhrman is the principal at the high school.
“We have had the opportunity to provide our teachers and students many flexible and collaborative spaces, and it has allowed our students to take on more opportunities to become responsible and learn more about what it takes to be successful in the real world. Our CTE Center has improved building morale and propelled a change in culture to reflect what we call ‘The Bobcat Way.’”
Ashley Razak, public information officer for the school district, said school administrators recognized that not every student is bound for college. Many benefit from career and technical education.
“The focus is on preparing kids for careers, not just for college,” she said.
Classes at the center are free for Basehor-Linwood students, although some classes have fees for materials.
Razak said approximately 25 percent of the student population is enrolled in classes at the center. There are about 10 instructors.
“The kids are proud of our CTE Center,” she said. “They enjoy it and it’s something to be proud of.”
Razak said school administrators have considered expanding the use of the building, possibly even having night classes.