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Room to build for career training

Marshall School Board tours planned district CTE site

Photo by Deb Gau Representatives of Marshall Public Schools, including Business Services Director Dion Caron, teacher Mike Braithwaite and school board member Matt Coleman, look across open space at the rear of a planned career and technical education site in Marshall.

MARSHALL — The planning process to start a Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center in Marshall is still ongoing. But on Monday, members of the Marshall School Board got a feel for what the new facilities would be like.

School board members toured property the Marshall Public School District is purchasing on North U.S. Highway 59 in Marshall. Some of the buildings they walked through would need to be renovated, but MPS Superintendent Jeremy Williams said the tour gave an idea of the size and location of the facilities.

“There’s a lot of square footage here,” for welding training and other programs, Williams said.

The district plans to hold classes, including welding, automotive and certified nursing assistant training, at the property next fall.

Williams walked school board members through four existing buildings on the property. One building has water damage that will need to be repaired, and other improvements that will need to be done before classes can move in. Once the existing structure is gutted, “We can have at least two classrooms in the front part of the building,” he said.

Another part of the building had room for about five automotive bays, Williams said. Two other sheds on the property will work well for storage for welding and auto shop equipment, and additional cold storage. The cold storage building could also potentially serve as space for construction programs, he said.

The property also included about 4.5 acres of open space that could potentially be used, said teacher Mike Braithwaite.

Prep work for the CTE center won’t just involve building renovation, school district staff said Monday. In her monthly report to the school board, MPS Director of Teaching and Learning Beth Ritter said she, Williams and a small group of teachers visited the Sioux Falls CTE Academy High School.

“Two of our teachers, Mike Braithwaite and Jon Schreurs, will return later this month to shadow a teacher for a day to gain ideas and insight on how to teach the automotive and construction trades classes,” Ritter said.

“It was really a fun trip. We had a lot of good ideas about what that instruction can look like, and how that facility functions within the whole district,” Williams said.

MPS will also be holding a CTE summit at the Red Baron Arena and Expo on Friday. Ritter said local businesspeople have been invited to talk about workforce needs in the community, and how that could help shape the educational programs at the CTE Center.

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