At last Tuesday’s Newburgh Enlarged School District Board of Education meeting, the Board discussed the capital bond for the career and technical education programs. The two-part bond was approved this past May. The centerpiece of the bond is a new facility.
A committee full of administrators, teachers, and more was formed to address the bond. John Etri and Roger Ramjug presented the committee’s current research, suggestions, and steps forward on how to innovate the CTE programs. Etri is the CTE Director and Ramjug is the Director of Management Efficiency, and the Capital Projects Administrator.
Currently there are more than 2,100 students enrolled in Newburgh’s CTE Programs. The district is anticipating a growth of approximately 20 percent. $75 million has been budgeted for the construction and development of a new CTE education facility. The new facility will be built on the main campus of Newburgh Free Academy.
The committee suggested the new facility be spacious enough to bring middle schoolers through to see their potential future in high school. The committee is looking at ways to quantify appropriate square footage based on industry standard space and equipment. The design features for the new facility are still being developed.
Board member William Walker asked about additional architectural issues. Walker mentioned how there was a session last year about the current high school entrances. The current entrances have metal detectors. “Students feel like they’re going through a prison.” Walker said, “I think it’s important that we design and develop a system [for the new CTE facility] that is less oppressive.”
The committee toured institutions in states like Texas, and Florida for research purposes over the summer. The committee intends to meet frequently to discuss innovations for the CTE programs. The committee will update the community and the board every month.
Superintendent Roberto Padilla is optimistic over the future of Newburgh’s CTE programs, and other projects the district will take on. “Right now, we’re looking at closing achievement gaps.” Padilla finished, “we got a lot of work to do, and it’s exciting work.”