FBISD selects site for Career and Technical Education facility

A 65-acre plot in the Telfair community has been selected as the site for a new state-of-the-art, centralized Career and Technical Education (CTE) facility.

During a regularly called meeting on July 18, the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees approved the recommended site selection, as well as the programming that is to be offered at the facility.

Located at Chatham Avenue and University Boulevard, the future site of the FBISD facility will allow easy access to Highway 6, Highway 90 and Highway 59 so that students from all 11 comprehensive high school campuses can attend specialized courses at the facility. The new facility, planned to open in August of 2018, will be funded through the 2014 Bond Program, which included $59 million dollars earmarked for CTE improvements.

In addition to the site, the board of trustees also approved the educational specifications for the facility, outlining the types of programs that will be housed in the facility, such as advanced construction, agriculture and natural resources, manufacturing, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), transportation, arts and AV communication, information technology, cosmetology, culinary arts, health science, education and training, and law and public safety.

Plans also include five student-run enterprise businesses that will be open to the community, including a full-service restaurant and a credit union. The facility will service approximately 2,000 students daily through half-day programs.

In May of 2016, Stantec and district staff met with various stakeholders to gather information about the current and future CTE program requirements in Fort Bend ISD. Also, a meeting with area business partners was held in June, and feedback received was incorporated into the educational specifications approved Monday.

“As the design process continues, we are envisioning a building that can serve as a three-dimensional textbook,” said Meredith Watassek, director of Career and Technical Education.

“This will allow even our elementary learners the opportunity to visually see how concepts learned in core content areas apply to everyday activities. The facility itself will become a District-wide destination location, where learning and exploration is possible for those as young as elementary through our community of adult learners.”

During the meeting, Stantec informed board members that although the 65-acre site was once considered to be within the 100-year flood plain, a levee system that was built between 2005 and 2009 has brought the Telfair area out of the flood plain. Following the approval of the site and programming, Stantec will continue the design phase, and will present schematic designs in the early fall.

At the June 18 meeting, the FBISD board of trustees also awarded bids for several renovation and upgrade projects included in the 2014 bond program to be completed at Mission West Elementary, Bowie Middle School, the FBISD Aquatic Practice Facility, Travis High School, the Central Warehouse, Natatorium, the Police Facilities Complex and Blue Ridge Elementary School. For more information about these projects and others included in the 2014 bond program, visit www.fortbendisd.com/2014Bond.

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