Pioneer Technology Center (PTC) announced a Westward Expansion project that will begin construction in June of 2020. The Tech Center is adding on nearly 21,000 square feet intending to bring their Culinary Arts program to new standards, joining their Cosmetology program to the current building. Additionally a multifunctional space serving as a Conference Center and a campus Severe Weather Refuge will accommodate larger groups and provide a safe space for campus personnel, visitors and students.
PTC’s cafeteria seating area will still be available for event reservation during this project, but food service and catering will be limited. Upon project completion, the serving line will be new and improved for community members choosing to dine on campus. Culinary students will have a state of the art instructional kitchen and classroom and the 2,600 square foot production kitchen will be enlarged to meet the lunch capacity and district catering needs. This kitchen will handle much of the catering that is prepared at PTC on a regular basis. Students and the instructor in the culinary classroom will have access to state-of-the art video capability to provide students a closer perspective of the dishes being prepared. All of these updates work together to provide success in this career pathway.
“We are excited about the opportunities for enhanced culinary instruction and training, not only in our Full Time Programs but also in our Short Term offerings.” All Culinary Arts students will have access to technology, providing an enriched participation in their curriculum,” Traci Thorpe, Superintendent/CEO explains.
According to Kahle Goff, Executive Director of Full-Time Programs, “the Cosmetology program has been in a separate building since the fall of 1995. During the new construction project around 7,700 square feet will be dedicated to accommodate the needs of a growing program. Moving the program to the main building will provide more student safety/security and improve accessibility to services for clients.”
The Cosmetology program is extremely popular and the classes are consistently full. Building the facility will allow PTC the opportunity to expand course offerings and provide students the chance to serve more clients before program completion. The new construction for Cosmetology will provide classroom space, as well as an area designated for nails, facials, spray tans, waxing, and traditional salon services. The new space will include a reception area, and clients will have a separate entrance allowing the public to park and easily enter the program on clinic days where students can provide services.
Pioneer Tech currently houses a Seminar Center which accommodates approximately 225 people at its capacity. As class enrollment has increased over the years, the number of students graduating from PTC has also grown. The current facility is not large enough to host the entire student body or large audiences during graduation ceremonies. The long term plan for the Tech Center has been to increase security by bringing all programs under the roof of the main campus as well as providing a Severe Weather Refuge. The new space meets both of the identified needs in the long term plan.
“With the seating capacity of nearly 700 people in auditorium style. The new Conference Center offers various room configurations for those needing space to host a meeting,” Thorpe added.
Parking is the final part of the expansion project and PTC is adding much needed space to the west side of campus near Ash Street. The new parking lot will include designated handicap accessibility and Cosmetology patron parking for clinic days when the public seeks personal services.
The project is being financed through RCB Bank and was approved at the January 2020 Board of Education Meeting. Pioneer Tech chose local firm Winterrowd Talley Architects, Inc. to design the new project and Kyler Construction has been selected as Construction Manager. The expansion begins, June of 2020 and completion is estimated for August of 2021.
“Construction is never easy, growing pains will be experienced, but we are confident the end product will be an asset to the district and help Pioneer Tech better serve our students, clients and stakeholders within the district,” added Thorpe.
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