Franklin County School Board approves CTE building location

Published: May. 13, 2023 at 3:55 PM EDT
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FRANKLIN CO., Va. (WDBJ) - Franklin County Public Schools is one step closer to having a career and technical education facility.

Franklin County Board members have unanimously approved the location of a CTE building. The plan is to build the facility on a 40-acre property behind Franklin County High School.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Gills Creek District Representative Jon Atchue. He credits the community for rallying together to make it happen.

“How do we train our current students for today’s opportunities? How do we prepare them for tomorrow’s opportunities? How do we engage the community along the way with their services? And most importantly perhaps is driving economic development for the county,” explained Atchue.

The school’s principal Jon Crutchfield says around 70% of high school students are enrolled in trade classes. The new building will allow enough space to accommodate them all.

“We have excellent instructors. Our kids are great,” explained Crutchfield. “The offerings that we have, and our studies are probably second to none in the commonwealth. But our facilities are just not appropriate for what we want to be able to do and what we want our kids to be able to do within the community.”

The school offers a variety of programs, but having a dedicated facility would allow it to expand.

“The one program that would be a new program for us that we are looking to move in if we get a new building, would be cosmetology,” added Crutchfield. “It’s one of the most requested programs from our students and our community.”

The next step is to hold a joint meeting with the Board of Supervisors to discuss the proposal.

“So, assuming we get the green light in the next couple months, that means the design wouldn’t be until the middle of next year. And then we sent it out to bid and break ground and it’s probably gonna be an 18-month to 2-year project to build,” said Atchue.

There is no date set yet for a joint meeting.