Adams 12’s new career and technical school will feature classes heavy on emergency services and construction when it opens next year.
A group of school district and municipal officials were joined by representatives from local police, fire and emergency medical agencies at the groundbreaking ceremony for FutureForward at Washington Square, at 126th and Washington Street in Thornton July 23.
It joins the district’s Bollman Technical Education Center, at 94th and Washington, as a second hub in the district’s career education efforts.
“We looked at a lot of different locations, and it was challenging to find something centrally located that would let us provide services to all five of our communities,” Adams 12 Superintendent Chris Gdowski. “This location is ideal. We’re not far from Federal Heights, Northglenn — we’re in Thornton — Broomfield, Westminster and other parts of this great community.”
Bollman itself is undergoing renovations that are due to debut in 2020 and will be rebranded under the FutureForward name. Bollman will become FutureForward at Bollman, joining the FutureForward at Washington Square.
“This is about creating opportunities for students who might not even know that they’re interested in a particular field,” said Kathy Plomer, chair of the Adams 12’s board of education. “We want them to stay local and build businesses here.”
The project is part of the bond vote $350 million bond package that voters approved in 2016. That package was aimed at improving the school’s aging infrastructure and programs, with a significant portion dedicated to improving career and technical programs.
“The promise of this facility is something that really resonated with our businesses, our students and ultimately our voters,” Plomer said.
The new facility is on track to be finished in the fall of 2020. Designs call for a 49,500 square foot building with six classrooms, three learning labs and three high bay labs.
The classrooms and labs will support programs for criminal justice, forensic science, emergency medical training and fire science —- with one of the high bay labs used as a space emergency program scenarios.
The other high bay labs will be used for diesel, welding and construction programs. A nearby work yard is included in the property for the programs to use as well.
It’s just in time, Plomer said. She noted that since 2012, 25 percent of Adams 12 students interested in a career/technical education have been turned away due to lack of space.
“When you have to turn away 25 percent of students interested in learning a trade and when businesses are clamoring for skilled workers, you know a facility like this is a must-do,” Plomer said. “It’s our job as a school district to prepare students for any path they choose and the career paths open for those with a technical education and training could not be more exciting than they are now.”