August 29, 2013 9:53:07 AM
The Lowndes County School District will begin conducting a feasibility study on four possible sites for a proposed vocational center.
During a special meeting of the Lowndes County School Board Tuesday night, the board voted to move forward with the study. Joey Henderson of JBHM in Columbus will conduct the studies.
Lowndes County Schools Superintendent Lynn Wright said Henderson will begin to qualify the sites to ensure "we can put up a building of that nature."
The studies will include surveying the property, determining the access, evaluating the foundation to ensure "they're suitable sites for construction," Wright added.
During Tuesday night's meeting, board members voted to ask property owners to hold their land options for an additional 30 days while the studies are being made. The board will then vote on how to move forward with the vocational school. Wright said he expects construction to take up to two years.
"If we were to start on it tomorrow, it would be 18 months to two years to complete the project," he said.
The country school district does not currently have a vocational school, a need that should be met, Wright said.
"I want to provide opportunity for our students that may not necessarily be seeking a four-year college degree," he said. "With the industry we have in Lowndes County, what we hope to do is build a central career tech center and work with EMCC where we could offer industry identified, career-specific courses to teach those skills where our students would be prepared to enter the workforce, for more advanced training at EMCC or a four-year institution."
The district has not yet identified the four possible sites but Wright said he expects the project to be set in motion once the studies are complete.
"Once we gather that information, which we hope to have within 30 days, then our goal is to move forward," he said.
Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.
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