Proctor High Career-Technical Education Wing Vote: What You Need to Know
Utica voters will decide on Tuesday, December 7 whether the district should build a technical and vocational education wing on Thomas R. Proctor High School so that many students who now attend BOCES Oneida-Herkimer-Madison in New Hartford can stay in high school all day.
The nearly $ 18 million wing will not result in a tax increase; most of the money comes from planned state aid of nearly $ 11 million, officials said.
The district held a series of public information sessions at schools in the district so residents could learn about and ask questions about the plan.
Relative Heather Padulla said that one of her four children, a 2020 graduate, took the cosmetology course at BOCES and, as a result, was unable to take advanced and elective courses at Proctor. Now she has a five-year plan to graduate from college because she just wasn’t prepared enough, Padulla said.
Her daughter also didn’t like having to choose between missing school activities and missing classes at BOCES, she said after attending one of the public information sessions on the project.
County lawmaker and former Utica mayor Tim Julian called Proctor’s CTE restoration a big plan. Julian himself went through a CTE program at the Utica Free Academy and said this knowledge has helped him throughout his career, he said.
There is such a demand for these kinds of workers right now on projects like the new downtown hospital and the Wolfspeed, formerly known as Cree, a semiconductor factory in Marcy, has t -he declares. And it’s scary to think, Julian said, of a world where there’s no one to call when your toil stalls.
âNot all children are destined for an academic career,â he said.
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How to vote?
Voting will take place between noon and 9 p.m. on December 7 at assigned polling stations in schools in the district.
What is the project ?
The project will include the construction of a three-story, 28,300-square-foot addition to the high school and the 12,000-square-foot renovation of the existing building. The addition and renovation will include space for 10 vocational and technical training programs, although more programs may be added over time.
The project includes 27 classrooms, 13 or 14 of them for CTE and the rest for general classes that could be used for CTE as the programs develop.
The new wing for vocational and technical education would open in September 2024.
What is the cost and how will the district pay for the project?
The project is expected to cost $ 17,995,000, including all equipment and furniture. The state will contribute approximately $ 10,995,000 in construction assistance. That leaves $ 7 million to pay for the district. The state may end up contributing more to construction aid. All other money will come from the US bailout stimulus funds; long-term debt repayment; and savings in BOCES and transportation costs by offering programs on campus.
The project will not result in tax increases, officials have promised.
What fields of study will be included first?
Automotive technology, auto body and repair, construction trades (including carpentry, electrical, plumbing and masonry), culinary arts, cosmetology, drone technology, cybersecurity, early childhood education, criminal justice and nursing.
How many students would attend CTE at Proctor?
Currently, the district has about 240 enrolled in BOCES programs out of a student body of 3,000. But with the programs offered on Proctor’s campus, officials expect enrollment to increase by at least 50. % by 2026-2027.
How many teachers will the district hire for the program?
Why does the district administration want to bring the CTE back to Proctor?
District officials cited what they say are many benefits of offering programs at Proctor and keeping children on campus all day without spending an hour on a bus between Proctor and BOCES. Here are some of those benefits:
- Students have indicated over the years that they would prefer to stay on campus all day and many have chosen not to take CTE classes as a result.
- Students may currently have difficulty registering for the high demand courses at BOCES due to competition from students from other districts.
- Students will have access to teachers, counselors and other district support staff throughout the day while on campus.
- CTE students would have more time to take electives and advanced placement courses.
- More students would have access to programs that prepare them for employment immediately after graduation from high school.
- The benefits of in-house CTE are expected to help increase the graduation rates of CTE students.
What if the referendum fails?
The CTE course would remain at BOCES. There would be no BOCES program or transportation savings, or state building aid, meaning that most of the project funds would not be available for other projects.
How can I get more information?
The district will hold information sessions on the project at 6 p.m. on Monday, November 29 at Sen Middle School. James H. Donovan and at 6 p.m. Thursday, December 2 at Thomas R. Proctor High School. Information is also available on the district website at uticaschools.org/Page/7705.
Amy Roth is the Observer-Dispatch health and education reporter. Email Amy Roth at [email protected]