GHS addition will put a premium on vocational education

Claudia Loucks
For the Republic
Geneseo School Superintendent Adam Brumbaugh spoke at the recent groundbreaking for Geneseo High School’s Career and Technical Education Center. In the photo are, from left: Diane Olson, representing the Board of Education; Tom Ryerson, GHS principal; Tim Gronski, Chief School Business Official; Kyle Bess, GHS career and technical education teacher; Randy Bormann, director of maintenance; Travis Mackey, part-time Career and Technical Education Center Director; and Bob Pettit.

It is now official!

Staff from the Geneseo School District recently hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Career and Technical Education Center at Geneseo High School.

Construction on the 10,000-square-foot stand alone facility will begin next week. The new building will be located at 709 North State Street, across form the recently added Fine Arts Center at Geneseo High School,

The state-of-the art building is expected to be completed in time for the first day of classes in the 2023-2024 school year. An open house will eventually be held for the community to tour the facility and see what new experiences lay ahead for GHS students.

An artist's rendering of the GHS Career and Technical Education Center.

The district is working with Boyd Jones Construction on the $4.2 million project. The school district received over $1.5 million in funding from generous financial commitments form local foundations, businesses and the Board of Education itself via a 1 percent sales tax revenue. The remaining costs will be covered through bonds, with no increase to the district’s tax rate.

Travis Mackey, who served as principal at GHS from 2016-2022, has been hired as the part-time Career and Technical Education Center Director.

Geneseo School Superintendent Adam Brumbaugh spoke at the groundbreaking and said, “Today marks the beginning of a renewed emphasis on the trades in our schools, and a major step toward creating a pipeline for our future workforce. Not only will that give our graduates a head start on successful careers, but it will help our community and local businesses thrive.”

In 2020, the Geneseo Board of Education set a goal to explore the “renewal and expansion of vocational experiences or opportunities for students.” A vocational committee that included board members, administrators, teachers, maintenance workers and local business leaders was formed to work with the Board of Education on bringing the concept to reality.

When Brumbaugh was asked about the need for the Center, he said, “Approximately 25 percent of our students do not go on to a four-year college and we want to make sure that every student has an opportunity to pursue the vocation and career they want. Our current vocational spaces in GHS total approximately 5,000 square feet, which can feel rather tight at times. The new building will double that. The additional square feet will allow more sections to participate each hour, therefore more students participating in those courses.

“Our first priority is to our students, but we will be looking at the potential to partner with other school districts to send their students here to GHS if we offer a course that they cannot,” he said. “We also will be partnering with local agencies to offer adult education opportunities. We hope the new space will allow us to expand our course offerings, but to do that we would love to bring on an additional staff member that can help us in creating such a master schedule.”

The new building will initially offer welding, woodworking, automotive repair and CNC work, but the building is designed in such a way that it can easily be modified to offer a variety of additional courses, Dr. Brumbaugh said.