Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Enrolling students before it's built

Mat-Su | Patty Sullivan | Sunday, April 29, 2007

CTE SCHOOL-- Nearly complete, the $22 million MAT-SU Career and Technical High School drew the interest of U.S. Rep. Don Young this week. Young toured the new school Wed., walking through the classrooms where Culinary Arts, IT, and Architecture, among others, will be taught. "Very nice," Young said.

Scaffolding still clings to the building. Even so, 215 students are already signed up to attend full time when the school opens this fall. Another 35 full-time slots remain. Also open are 250 part-time slots for students who attend other schools.

"Everybody is excited about the new opportunity for MAT-SU students," said Career and Technical Education Director Ray DePriest. "It's something people have been dreaming about, for a long time. "

Matanuska-Susitna Borough Mayor Curt Menard attended the tour. "It's very exciting to see the construction going on, and all the vocations that will be offered there," Menard said.

With the opening of the facility 16 new courses will be added to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District's, already acclaimed, career and technical education program.
The career pathways are:

  • Architecture/Pre-engineering/Construction
  • Information Technology/Business/Electronics
  • Health Sciences/Nursing
  • Sports & Fitness Technology/Therapeutic Services
  • Culinary Arts/Hospitality/Tourism
  • Welding Technology at Colony High
  • Outdoor Power Equipment at Colony High
  • Auto Services Technology at Wasilla High
  • Agriculture and Natural Resources at Palmer High

Part of the 76,000-square foot building offers an expansive two-story open area. It's a building design that teaches, DePriest said. Throughout the building, the buckling restraint braces and the HVAC ductwork are exposed. Cable trays will be left exposed overhead in the halls as they guide the Ethernet cable throughout the building, allowing students to see how a building works.

MAT-SU voters approved bonds for the project in 2003. The state is reimbursing the Borough for part of the project.

The tour also visited a house built almost entirely, except some electrical work, by MAT-SU District students. It is the 18th house built by students over the 25 years of the construction program.

Collins Construction and McCool Carlson Green Architects are the builders and designers.

For more information contact Ray DePriest at 746-9238. For construction questions call Project Manager Bob Bechtold at 746-7417.