Members of the Franklin County Board of Education got a sneak peek of the construction under way at the Career and Technical Center Monday.
Students will return to school Wednesday, and district leaders say their safety around the construction site is their main concern.
Karen Schneider, principal of CTC, said she plans to address students at all-school assemblies at Franklin County High School and Western Hills High School later this week.
A metal fence surrounds the site, but leaves a walkway for students and staff. Adults will monitor the area when kids are present, Schneider said.
She told board members she believes the students will “rise to the occasion” and steer clear of the uneven ground and heavy machinery.
The construction will also force a change in traffic patterns for student drivers at FCHS, the school announced last week.
During morning arrival, students should enter the FCHS student parking lot from Hiawatha Trail in the Indian Hills subdivision.
As they leave in the afternoon, students must line up at the west end of the building on the two-lane access road between FCHS and Elkhorn Middle School until buses finish exiting. Hiawatha Trail will not be accessible in the afternoons.
Parents who are dropping their children off at school will see no changes. Teachers and buses will also follow last year’s plan.
Construction crews started their work 10 weeks ago, and district officials say the project is on schedule.
Renovations and an L-shaped addition will more than double the center’s size from 24,000 square feet to 57,000 square feet. CTC was built in 1968.
A 9,600 square-foot canopy will also be constructed over the building’s north side to provide some protection from the weather and allow more use of the outdoor area, particularly for the welding, carpentry and automotive programs.
Renovations will make way for new programs in engineering technology, mechatronics – a combination of several engineering fields – and biomedical research.
The budget includes $8.7 million for construction and $1.5 million for new furnishings and state-of-the-art equipment. The entire project is expected to be complete in time for the 2013-2014 school year.