Idaho Falls unveils location for career-technical training hub
The Idaho Falls School District plans to turn a former Deseret Industries into a 30,000-square-foot vocational and technical learning center for local and regional high schools. Photo courtesy of EastIdahoNews.com.
The Idaho Falls School District plans to house a new professional technical education center in the former Deseret Industries building near downtown, as a potential price and redesign plan continue to emerge.
In November, the Trustees approved the creation of a standalone facility to streamline CTE courses for students. The district announced on Monday that it was leasing the facility and is hoping to send offers to convert it to a CTE center later this year.
The lease with JH-2 Properties, LLC runs from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2026, with the option to rent from month to month thereafter. The district pays $ 20,160 monthly starting May 1, 2022, increasing 3% annually starting January 1, 2023.
In the meantime, Idaho Falls expects to put the project to overhaul the 30,000-square-foot building up for tender in late winter or early spring, Monday’s announcement said. A package of offers will then be submitted to the school authorities for final approval sometime in the spring.
The downtown location at 450 East Street will make it easier for students to follow program offerings regardless of where they live, Idaho Falls superintendent Jim Shank said in Monday’s announcement.
The center will host existing CTE offerings scattered throughout buildings across the district, including certified nursing assistants, culinary arts, EMT, computer science, construction and craft, agriculture and horticulture.
Accessibility for other high school students in the area takes into account the proposed location. Students from Firth, Ririe and Shelley also have access, said Bobbie Crosser Finlayson, Idaho Falls career and technical education coordinator.
“With the city buildings, fire department and local businesses nearby, students can visit these places without special transportation,” Finlayson added.
If the board approves a package of offers, work will begin “immediately”, with an opening planned for autumn 2022, according to the announcement on Monday. Additional plans related to the current lease are “likely to be addressed” as part of renewed efforts to develop a long-term facility plan in the district.
Idaho Falls began work on a facility plan in 2019, but it was put on hold at the start of the pandemic. The district resumes these efforts this month with a comprehensive community facility survey to “enable parents, patrons, and staff to identify needs and priorities.
About Devin Bodkin
EdNews Assistant Editor and Reporter Devin Bodkin is a retired high school English teacher who specializes in storytelling about charter schools and educating students living in poverty. He lives and works in East Idaho. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. He can be reached by email at [email protected].
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