Career center’s $158M expansion hits halfway point

MVCTC had to turn away hundreds of students per year due to capacity.

At a time when skilled trades and other career tech job fields are in high demand, the Miami Valley Career Tech Center is halfway through a huge renovation and expansion of its Englewood campus.

The five-year $158 million project covering 600,000 square feet is a nearly complete makeover of the school site, thanks to $28 million from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission and property tax funds from a 2017 bond issue approved by voters.

Superintendent Nick Weldy said the new campus will offer several benefits.

“The remodeled and expanded facility will allow hundreds of additional students to receive career-technical training, on state-of-the-art equipment,” he said. “They’ll earn additional industry credentials that will make them more employable for high-wage positions, and further ensure that MVCTC’s ‘completers’ are career and college ready.”

Construction began in May 2019, and the south and north wings of the project are already complete and being used by students and staff.

The south wing contains programs including agriculture and livestock production, diesel power technologies, heavy equipment operation and veterinary science.

The north wing houses the automotive programs and aviation maintenance, plus some temporary academic classroom space, including a precision machining lab, until the main “building spine” section is completed.

The district will host an open house in 2022 for the soon-to-be-completed multi-purpose activity center and two completed wings of the building that contain the agricultural and transportation programs.

The career tech center serves students from 27 school districts in Montgomery, Miami, Preble and Darke counties. MVCTC has dozens of programs for high school juniors and seniors ranging from graphic art, carpentry and HVAC, to pre-nursing, computer coding and firefighting/EMS.

But in recent years, Weldy said the school has had to turn away 200-400 students per year because it was at capacity. A school that has served 1,600 to 1,800 students will soon house “well over 2,000″ each year.

Safety and technology are two other improvements from the project. The renovation puts much more of the campus under a single roof with controlled entrances, rather than having students shuttle between multiple buildings with less secure doors.

The project also pays for up-to-date career tech equipment. In some programs such as precision machining and welding, the school had been training students on equipment that was decades old.

After demolition of the east building this fall, MVCTC hopes to finish the Multipurpose Activity Center in January or February, the agricultural complex in August, the “building spine” at the end of 2022 and the west building at the end of 2023.

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