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School and community leaders focus on helping Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center make facilities plans to meet current and future needs.

School and community leaders focus on helping Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center make facilities plans to meet current and future needs.
Clark County community leaders gathered in the Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center (CTC) cafeteria on April 24, 2023, to provide input into facility plans aimed at addressing Clark County’s growing demand for up-to-date career technical education.
CTC, formerly known as the Springfield-Clark County Joint Vocational School, currently offers high school students from Clark County the choice of 22 programs in healthcare, engineering, IT, and other high-demand career fields. The career-tech programs and academic classes are spread among seven separate buildings – most of which are more than 50 years old – and student enrollment is currently severely limited by undersized classrooms. In fact, between 2013 and 2023, CTC had to turn away more than 700 students – including more than 150 for the upcoming 2023-2024 school year alone.
The school has engaged Burges & Burges Strategists, Schorr Architects, Community Design Alliance (CDA), Miller Diversified Construction Co, and the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) to help CTC ensure it has facilities that better serve Clark County’s current and future needs.
Career-technical education has been a cornerstone of business and industry in Clark County since CTC’s first graduating class of 1967. CTC alumni can be found throughout the region in every industry - from education to manufacturing - and in all types of positions - crew leaders, technicians, nurses, dental assistants, managers, cosmetologists, engineers, superintendents, business owners, etc. CTC has a 95% four-year graduation rate and within six months of graduating, 95% of CTC students are in college, their chosen career field, or enlisted in the military.
Alumni Tracey Tackett shared how her time as a student at CTC has helped her thrive as a business owner in this community. “My experience at CTC (JVS) enabled me to develop my passion into purpose when I decided to open Sip & Dipity a decade ago in downtown Springfield,” she said. Many CTC alumni, such as Tackett, have found success in local business and industry including local construction companies, production studios, and restaurants, to name a few.
“Providing students with the support and tools to become more career ready, college ready, and life ready are what we are all about,” Superintendent Michelle Patrick stated. “Current students who have a jumpstart on their careers are already giving back to the community in astounding ways. Over 40% of our 2023 graduates have spent all or a portion of this school year working in local business and industry specifically related to their CTC program. These students are on track to earn over one-million dollars right here in Clark County. This is not to mention those students in other work-based learning experiences who are on track to earn over a quarter of a million dollars. Imagine what we can do for workforce development in this community with updated facilities and more space to accept more students,” Patrick went on to say.
Current senior and Engineering and Architectural Design student Tyler Gray furthered this sentiment, “CTC is a great place for high school students who want a more hands-on experience. It provides students with the knowledge needed in the workforce. The job opportunities you can get from it are surreal! The programs here lead to jobs that are desperately looking for good workers, and as a senior you will almost always have an opportunity to get out of the comfort of your own lab and get a job through the school! I truly believe CTC is the right place to be.”
Board President Jamie Callan added to the narrative: “During my tenure as CFO of Valco Industries, I have not been surprised that our company has been able to utilize multiple CTC welding interns that have elected to become full-time welders with technical skills that have been critical to the success of our company. However, as CTC Board President, I am amazed at the student success and achievement throughout all of the programs and am immensely proud of the leadership positions our CTC students have attained in various CTE associations.” Simply put, this is “why we need to have state of the art facilities that can help more students reach their full potential,” Superintendent Patrick added.
In spite of all CTC’s success, an outdated facility has limitations. To finance the facilities project, CTC administration is partnering with OFCC, which provides a portion of state funding for school construction projects that meet its requirements. To date, six of the seven public schools in our planning district have benefitted from the OFCC funding model. At the April 24th planning forum, community leaders provided input and learned more about CTC’s existing facility conditions, local student and workforce needs, and the OFCC’s process – which includes the potential to receive more than 60% of related construction costs in state funds.
Discussion at the forum often focused on the age, condition, and shortcomings of CTC’s existing facilities – in addition to the space constraints. “Schools built in the 1960's and 1970's (like the CTC) are not energy-efficient and are constructed of cheaper materials,” said Eric Barge, Engineering and Architectural Design instructor. Furthermore, as Michael Dingeldein, AIA, LEED-AP, CNU-A from CDA expressed, the “masonry walls have no cavity, no moisture path, no internal flashings, and no weep holes to direct moisture from the solid masonry exterior walls. Lintels have rusted and expanded, brick and block are spalling from hydrostatic pressure” and trying to insulate a building in this condition would simply worsen these conditions. Thus, as they currently stand, “health, ADA, and safety upgrades; system upgrades; electrical and networking systems; program upgrades; and aesthetic gains are all things that our current facility lacks and they are extremely inadequate for today’s technology, and today's student learning environment. New building systems will reduce maintenance and operational costs, as well as provide an environment as good as any found in a new school, and we are surrounded by newer facilities in almost every school district here in Clark County,” Barge added.
In addition to those present at the forum, a recent online survey of nearly 50 Clark County community leaders was conducted to provide additional input. Survey participants emphasized student safety and security, ADA accessibility, and space flexibility for future programming as being important to consider in facility planning.
Miller Diversified Construction Co. will represent CTC’s interests during the process by serving as their Owner’s Representative. President Kurt Miller said the company is thrilled to take on this role. “We strongly believe in the importance of education and providing students with the latest technology, particularly in the trades, and Springfield-Clark’s proposed new state-of-the-art facility would create an environment with the latest technologies and learning environment that could offer students the best possible opportunity to succeed. The need for a well-trained and skilled workforce has never been more urgent, we are proud to be a part of a project that addresses this critical issue head-on. In addition, the new facility would be built with environmental considerations and energy efficiency in mind, something the current facility cannot be cost effectively adapted to achieve.”
The school is awaiting updated cost estimates for renovating versus replacing its buildings from the OFCC. OFCC mandates a complete rebuild when the cost to renovate is 66% or more of the cost of new construction. The agency bases its contribution to a school’s project on demographics, age of facilities, and property values. Should CTC decide to move forward with an OFCC partnership, the state agency will fund 62% of the project. The CTC expects to have OFCC’s updated cost estimates by the next community leader planning meeting, which is scheduled for May 23, 2023.
Follow the progress of the Facility Project at