Carter vocational school construction change | New
Carter County School District’s plans to build a brand new tech center are being redesigned.
Superintendent Ronnie Dotson said the district plans to build a new facility to house the programs, but the request for a $ 10 million renovation grant has brought new possibilities.
The School Facilities Construction Commission received $ 75 million in general funds for the 2021-22 school year through Bill 556, section 18. The local school district which has vocational education centers in the region is now eligible to receive up to $ 10 million specified for renovation expense support.
“Our vocational school is the # 1 need in our district,” Dotson said of how the needs are categorized in the local planning document. “It will really help us get that $ 10 million.”
No action by the board of directors has been taken. Dotson had just heard the news of the possibility on Wednesday.
“It is more than likely that we will take a path to renovate the existing vocational school rather than building a new one,” he said.
Dotson said his understanding was that the grant was allocated specifically for renovations and not for new construction, much like the grant East Carter High School received through Governor Andy Beshear’s Better Kentucky Plan. The $ 14 million allocated to East High is specifically for renovations and cannot be used for anything else, Dotson said.
“In order not to lose $ 10 million, I’m sure we would just renovate the existing building instead of going somewhere else and building a new one,” Dotson said.
“It’s different from our original plan to build an entirely new one, but with $ 10 million we’ll be able to make a new one,” Dotson said. The district will not demolish the old one, because the funding will not allow it.
“Basically what would have to happen, to be worth $ 10 million, would be to gut it almost completely and do it again,” said Dotson of the current center.
The grant is due in August 13, and applications began to be accepted on Thursday.
Dotson said the district will apply and believes the school has a good chance of receiving the money depending on grant and writing language requirements.
The renovation of the technical center is another on a growing list of construction projects in the neighborhood.