Construction has began on the new Logan County Area Technology Center on the campus of Logan County High School and the school district celebrated that fact this week with a ceremonial groundbreaking on Wednesday.
Members of the county school board welcomed community leaders, officials, students and others to the site of the new Area Technology Center (ATC) on Wednesday morning to celebrate the beginning of construction.
“As we break ground today, we acknowledge that we are writing a new chapter in our school district’s rich tradition of excellence,” said Logan County schools superintendent Paul Mullins. “We are writing a new chapter in ways that we can better serve the students, the community members, and our business partners. The Logan County ATC will be a cutting-edge facility that will help us develop and educate students with the skills necessary to compete in today’s competitive workplace. Through this partnership, we are building strong connections with local business partners to offer opportunities to train current and future employees and to provide re-training of the adult workforce in Logan County.”
David Horseman from the Kentucky Department of Education Office of Career and technical Education was on hand and spoke, urging all the students assembled for the occasion to “take advantage of every opportunity” that the new ATC will provide.
Tom Harned, the executive director of the Logan County Alliance for Economic Development, thanked the Logan County school board for having the political courage to undertake the building of the new ATC, which he sees as being a boon for economic development in Logan County and the surrounding area.
“When we bring prospective employers into Logan County, this will definitely be on the list of things we take them to see,” Harned said.
“By providing skills that will open doors, together we are opening doors of opportunity for those that we serve and the community in which we live,” Mullins said. “We are pursuing an expansion of dual credit opportunities and ways to expand workforce certifications as methods to work as a partner with the business community and help make Logan County more attractive to potential businesses. As Logan County strives to be a ‘Work Ready’ community we believe the Logan County ATC is poised to be a cornerstone in our county’s path to this prestigious designation. Today we celebrate with our friends, our community, our leaders, and most importantly our students this momentous occasion.”
Construction is expected to take 15 months to complete, which could mean the building is finished by November of 2017.
“The best case scenario could be for us to move into the building after Christmas that school year if everything goes to plan,” Mullins said last week.
There are currently 617 students taking classes at the existing ATC on the campus of Russellville High School with 495 of those coming from Logan County High School.
Bids for the project were accepted last month and the contract was awarded to A&K Construction out of Paducah for $14,813,476.
Initial estimates for the new ATC had the total cost around $20 million. Of that, $14.5 million was expected toward building the actual structure while the rest of the budget will be used to finish the inside with the necessary instructional equipment.
The original $14.5 million estimate also included architectural fees, which is not a part of the $14,813,476 bid from A&K.
Designs for what the building will look like were presented last year.
The building area will be 68,000 square feet and includes classrooms for 10 instruction programs: two health science rooms, two business education rooms and one each for information technology, drafting/AutoCAD, automotive technology, electricity technology, welding technology and machine tool technology.
The new ATC will also have a modern 68KW photovoltaic solar array, which will provide 25 percent of the building’s power and has a nine-year capital payback.
The building will be located on Bowling Green Road just east of Russellville.
The main entrance for the new ATC will be the same one currently used for the high school, but a secondary exit will be put from the building onto Bowling Green Road.
To contact OJ Stapleton, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.