West Feliciana High School held a ribbon cutting on Monday, September 19, at 10 am, for their new Career & Technical Education Center.
The renovation of the old gym moves the school’s award-winning CTE program under one roof. Last year marked the opening of a new gymnasium as well as a Freshman Academy, a renovation of the front of the school complex which includes new classrooms, science labs, a Freshman Commons, an administrative suite, and a clearly defined school entrance. Tipton Associates designed all three projects, totaling $14.2 million. Stuart & Co. served as the general contractor.
“With all this work, we’re aiming to improve the student experience,” said West Feliciana School District Superintendent Hollis Milton.
The Freshman Academy offers a smooth transition for newcomers to West Feliciana High, with dedicated academic and social spaces that are still integrated in the larger school. The gymnasium features an expansive lobby and floor-to-ceiling views of the football field from the weight room. “It’s a place to compete and to celebrate,” said Milton.
The Career & Technical Education Center is a true gamechanger. Programs including welding, EMR and CNA training, culinary arts, and robotics are now taught on campus, while in the past students had to travel to area technical colleges and could lose hours in the school day. “We had to be very rigid in scheduling,” said Milton. “Now we can be agile. Kids can have a flexible, dual experience here at school. You can take off your welding gear and head straight across the courtyard to Honors English.”
At the ribbon cutting, Governor John Bel Edwards spoke of the positive impact the CTE program, which teaches industry-based credentials, is having on Louisiana’s goal to connect 60% of its residents with postsecondary education. “We don’t have to find them later in life and convince them to come back. They’ll get that education now.”
Students will graduate West Feliciana High ready for the workforce, or just well rounded thanks to the four years spent on campus. “We want them to be prepared for anything they encounter,” added Milton. “That’s our goal.”