Knox County Technical and Professional Center to undergo major renovation

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BARBOURVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) – The Knox County Board of Education took local control of the Knox County Career and Technical Center on July 1, 2021. The facility was formerly part of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System of vocational training operated by the ‘State schools.

Gathered in the former Knox County Area Technology Center, Kentucky State Senator Robert Stivers and Kentucky State Representative Tom O’Dell Smith joined Knox County Public Schools Superintendent Jeremy Ledford and Knox CTC director Ralph Halcomb to dedicate funds for a major renovation.

The local school board received $ 10 million to improve the facility and increase the number of programs offered.

Senator Stivers said he hoped the school could offer children in the area hope for a bright future with a successful career.

Senator Stivers added that the process of obtaining funds for a project like this is a collaborative process.

“It’s not just the Knox County system,” he said. “It’s Knox County, the Barbourville Independent, KCTCS, a lot of other different entities coming together to put this in place.”

Senator Stivers explained that it was the partnership between these entities that made the school’s candidacy strong.

“We don’t have the capacity to put a school in every location,” he added.

For Representative O’Dell Smith, this program aims to make quality careers accessible to children in the region. He cited a student participating in the plumbing program who could earn $ 150,000 per year.

“It gives this child hope. They think, “If I run this program,” it’s like going to medical school. And if we can start them in eighth grade, we’ll put them on the right track, ”he said.

Knox County CLC Director Ralph Halcomb believes this could make the institution one of the top 10 of its kind in the state, providing a major benefit to its students.

“I knew this would not only improve the programs we already offer, but provide exciting new opportunities for our students for generations to come,” he said.

Once the renovations are complete, the center will serve as a feeding school for the new KCTCS Barbourville Southeast Campus, located a few blocks away, which is slated to open in March 2022.

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