Center to focus on culinary arts, welding, carpentry, electronics and auto mechanics
Donations from an anonymous family for educational needs in Durango School District 9-R hit $2 million with a recent donation of $200,000 for equipment, software and furnishings for a new Career Technical Education Center.
The $200,000 donation was channeled through the Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado and was announced Tuesday night at a 9-R Board of Education meeting by outgoing Superintendent Dan Snowberger and Community Foundation Executive Director Briggin Wrinkle.
The Career and Technical Education Center, estimated to cost $10 million, is planned to be on the Durango High School campus, 2390 Main Ave.
It would be home to laboratories, classrooms and workshops in career fields such as culinary arts, welding, carpentry, homebuilding, plumbing, electronics and auto mechanics.
The center would also have flexible space that could be reconfigured to handle different educational needs based on the job market. Upstairs classrooms could accommodate space for Pueblo Community College and other colleges for concurrent classes.
“We remain incredibly grateful for the majority support from our community for the district’s capital projects and needs, as well as its vision, through the passage of the 2020 bond,” Snowberger said. “Those dollars will directly benefit all students of Durango.”
Construction of the CTE will be funded through $114 million raised after voters approved a bond issuance for 9-R in November that will also cover repairs and maintenance for a backlog of needs at all schools, safety and security upgrades at schools, and a complete rebuild of Miller Middle School on the current campus.
“The (Community Foundation) and its donors have been long-standing partners in this work, and we are thankful for the opportunity to utilize these additional funds to support state-of-the-art equipment in our new building,” Snowberger said.
New equipment that will be purchased from the donation includes 3D printers, business trade supplies and software.
Wrinkle said, “The future Career Technical Education building and programs will support opportunities for students to gain skills that can be put to good use right here in Southwest Colorado, helping our community to thrive.”