DeSoto County students got their first look Monday at the new Career and Technology Center – now parents and the public will have its opportunity at the ribbon cutting and open house Dec. 13.
“It was a smooth transition,” said principal Beth Turner. “We had been meeting temporarily in a classroom at Olive Branch High School since school started in August. But this was quite different from what the students were used to. There’s a lot of space here.
“It was a great day for them.”
The first-year program consists of mostly juniors, with 105 students participating in the four programs — transportation and logistics, public safety, health sciences or industrial maintenance. The new $709,000 center is a renovated warehouse at 8890 Deerfield Drive in the Olive Branch Metro Industrial Park, next to Northwest Mississippi Community College.
The new center serves students in Center Hill, Lewisburg and Olive Branch high schools, relieving pressure from the center in Southaven, which was serving all eight county high schools.
Students must complete certain requirements to be eligible to participate in the two-year program, which provides plenty of hands-on experience.
Industrial maintenance students will learn how to use power tools among other tools. Law enforcement students will see police demonstrations, set up a 911 dispatch center and learn about body suits. Those in transportation will learn about shipping and receiving and using bar codes. Health sciences classes include the use of body dummies.
“That’s what they signed up for,” said Turner, “to get that hands-on experience.”
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