Career Center plans for projects

LISBON – Working on continuing to update their facilities, the board of the Columbiana County Career and Technical Center voted to hire professionals to design the next projects.

ThenDesign Architecture Ltd. was hired at a cost of $115,000 to design a project, which is not to exceed a budget of $2 million.

Following some other projects in the past two years which have included the creation of a health academy wing and a new welding-materials joining lab with classrooms, the school is now turning its attention to several smaller projects.

Two vacant spaces near the health academy wing will be turned into science classrooms. Additionally, the classroom which hosts the hospitality/lodging services will be renovated.

The Covered Bridges Restaurant will be completely updated with new finishes, lighting, fixtures, equipment and ventilation improvements. Additionally, the restaurant will have added technology to allow the space to be used to host meetings.

Some existing toilet facilities will be renovated into either small classrooms or possibly a coffee shop, giving students yet another chance to learn what it takes to operate a small business, according to Superintendent Chuck Adkins.

Adkins also mentioned possible ventilation updates for the cosmetology department, to help clear the room when students use chemicals for permanents and other hair treatments.

Finally, to aid those coming to the Career Center two projects will be designed for outside the building. An enhancement will be planned for the main entrance to the building, which is actually at the back of the building. Adkins noted people coming to the school often do not know which door to use and it would help for the main entrance to visually identify to people they have arrived at the Career Center.

Also the project will include additional lighting for the driveway and newer parking areas. Adkins remarked that on snowy nights, like Tuesday was, it is difficult to tell where the snow covered pavement ends and the yard begins. An expanded parking area, which was only graveled last year may be ready for pavement this year and needs lighting added as well.

In other matters before the board:

– Nelda Hawkins, who teaches an adult class for those parents going through a divorce, gave a presentation to the board. Court ordered as part of the divorce process, Hawkins said the four-hour course includes DVDs, scenarios on how to handle situations with your spouse and the children, things to be concerned about including when some things are no longer your business, and offers solutions for co-parenting. She offered the board some of the scenarios and let them try to determine how they would handle the situation.

Hawkins said in the past six years nearly 2,000 parents have attended the class and more than 3,000 children are being raised by these parents.

– The board approved Patrick O’Neill as a substitute custodian.

– Approved the transfer of the Career Center’s oil and gas lease from Chesapeake Energy Corp. to Hilcorp Energy.

– Adult Education Director Kelly Weikart showed the board a video by Exterran, a company in the process of expanding its business with more than 100 new jobs coming to northeast Ohio. The video touts a local organization Team NEO (Northeast Ohio) for helping them with the move, plus local the career centers in Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull Counties with working with the company to help prepare a workforce ready to utilize those new jobs.

Weikart plans to link to the Career Center website the same video, which is currently on YouTube.