Work begins on Franklin County Career & Technology Center

August 06, 2011|By ROXANN MILLER |
  • Work is under way on a $14 million renovation and expansion project at the Franklin County Career & Technology Center in Chambersburg, Pa.
Photo by Roxann Miller

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Heavy equipment moved mounds of dirt Friday at the Franklin County Career & Technology Center as work kicked into high gear on the center’s renovation and expansion project.

The $14 million project will renovate and add space to the existing 158,000-square-foot building originally built in 1969.

Keith Yohn, administrative director of the center, said the building is long overdue for improvements.

“Some of the programs need a little more space,” Yohn said. “We definitely needed to update the aesthetics inside the building and upgrade the equipment to keep pace with technological advances to better prepare the students for what they have coming down the road. You can’t just look at today. We have to look forward.”

The project architect is Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates of Mechanicsburg, Pa., and the general contractor is Lobar Construction of Dillsburg, Pa.

For Yohn, renovating the center and offering the latest in technology gives students more choices and more opportunities.

About 720 students from five member school districts — Chambersburg, Greencastle-Antrim, Tuscarora, Waynesboro and Shippensburg — attend the center annually. Yohn said the Fannett-Metal and Gettysburg school districts also send students on a tuition basis.

When students return to the center at the end of this month, Yohn said they will notice the absence of ceilings and some corridors missing, but the goal is to minimize student disruptions until the project is completed around February 2013.

Kevin Weller, construction manager for the Franklin County Technical School Authority, said once the job is finished, it will be worth any minor disruptions.

“It’s going to be a construction area around the building, but we have it phased once we get areas finished. We’ll move (from) one area to another.” Weller said. “Not only are you giving it an aesthetic face-lift, but also you are adding programs that should attract some students, so the enrollment numbers go up. It’s not just renovating (a building) and leaving the same stuff here.”

One of Yohn’s goals was to place the technology programs into groups or academies.

The center has been designed around various academies, including a human services academy that includes cosmetology, allied health and veterinary technical assistance, which is a new program.

Yohn said there will be a manufacturing/production/precision/machining academy as well as a construction academy that includes plumbing, property maintenance and HVAC.

The building trades will have 5,000 square feet of space, and Yohn said the collision repair and technology shop needed more room.

He said the diesel mechanics area would be twice the size it was before to enable a tractor-trailer to fit inside the space for students to work on both the tractor and the trailer to enhance learning.

While the FCCTC project is under way, Weller also is overseeing construction on the Chambersburg Career Magnet School, which will be built on 11.64 acres in front of the center for about $10.3 million.

Weller said the new building will be a 50,000-square-foot building owned and operated by the Chambersburg Area School District to provide its students with academics at the school rather than traveling back to the home school.

Weller said the building is slated for completion for the 2012-13 school year and will accommodate about 550 Chambersburg students.

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