Rigby High School in Jefferson County. | Andrea Olson, EastIdahoNews.com
RIGBY — A local school district will be building a state-of-the-art Career Technical Education Facility, thanks to a multimillion-dollar grant it received.
Jefferson School District 251 was awarded a $5.3 million grant by the Idaho Career Ready Students Program in November. The grant comes from the state and increases the capacity of Career Technical Education in Idaho schools.
“It’s wonderful. We are always excited when we can provide more opportunities for students, and these opportunities help them really leave school prepared for whatever is next,” said Chad Martin, superintendent of Jefferson School District 251.
The grant will enhance learning experiences for students at Rigby High School. It will help them explore and develop skills in various career paths.
Martin said it was a need within the district. In fact, two bonds were run recently, but neither one passed.
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“We ran two bonds over the last couple of years … it was actually going to renovate the old middle school into a CTE center and build a new middle school, but neither of those passed,” he said.
According to Martin, the CTE program has been in place for years at Rigby High School. However, space was a concern.
Rigby High School. | Andrea Olson, EastIdahoNews.com
“We have nationally-ranked programs. Because of that, we attract a lot of students that want to be in those programs as well, and we’ve had to turn students away,” Martin said. “So this (grant) will help to remedy some of that. It will provide a lot of extra space. We can easily have a few hundred students out there.”
The single-level building will be located just south of the existing high school off Rigby High Lane.
“The district already owns property back there. So we don’t have to have a separate campus or anything like that. Students will be able to come and go between the buildings easily,” Martin said.
Not only did the district receive a grant, but it also received a generous donation — a 30,000-square-foot structure from R & M Steel.
“That’s another great saving. That’s over a million dollar donation as well,” Martin said.
The building will have room for the auto, nursing and robotics programs. There will be a new cybersecurity program, too.
“This is such a great blessing to not only our students but our community because it is providing opportunities,” Martin said. “The trades are having a hard time filling positions, so this will benefit them as we can produce more graduates who are ready to hit the workforce.”
He said the district has not broken ground yet on the new building. The district is working on renderings of what it will look like with architects.
The district is meeting with contractors and hopes to have one selected this week.
Martin is hopeful the building will go up by the beginning of the next school year in fall 2024.
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