- Associated Press - Friday, June 26, 2015

HORN LAKE, Miss. (AP) - DeSoto County school officials say the shop area and five classrooms will be ready at the new career technology center in Horn Lake when school begins Aug. 5.

Administration offices also will be ready.

“That should be enough, based on expected enrollment, to start with,” Mike Moore of C&M; Builders Inc. of Southaven told school board members this week.

The Commercial Appeal reports (https://bit.ly/1RCaIVu) Moore told the board that other classrooms and the kitchen/culinary area might not be finished until the second week of August.

The $12 million vo-tech facility is being built on 70 acres purchased by the school system at U.S. Highway 51 and Nail Road. It replaces a vo-tech center at Southaven High School serving students on the western side of the county.

The district opened a similar but smaller vo-tech operation in existing industrial space in Olive Branch a couple of years ago for students in eastern DeSoto County who want to pursue a technical career path as opposed to college.

Moore said the shop area is essentially complete now except that the air conditioning isn’t working yet.

“We’ll turn the AC on in a couple of weeks, and it’ll take about a week to charge up,” Moore said. “Some equipment was moved into the shop area beginning this week.

“We anticipate everything being done in the shop area by July 15, and the administration area is right in line with that.”

The career center offers programs in areas such as automotive, metal and welding, carpentry and culinary. It partners with Northwest Mississippi Community College to continue instruction there.

The western tech center in Horn Lake will have more than double the enrollment of the Olive Branch center, said schools superintendent Milton Kuykendall said.

He said Olive Branch started with fewer than 100 students and is expected to have about 200 next year. The west center is expected to have an enrollment of more than 400.


Information from: The Commercial Appeal, https://www.commercialappeal.com

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