Tech Center renovation, addition continues slow progress

Expansion and renovation to the Carroll County Career and Technology Center could be coming as soon as summer 2019, with planning this summer, following the finished report from the Education Specifications committee.

The committee, which began meeting last year and was tasked with looking at program needs in the Tech Center, has completed its report, Tech Center Principal Bill Eckles said, and will present its findings at an upcoming Board of Education meeting.


“[The education specifications] report details the requirements per program area,” Eckles said. It doesn’t look at a schoolwide design, but rather at what is required for every individual program to run at its best, he added.

Eckles said the hope is that following the committee’s presentation to the school board, next steps will include planning. CCPS is anticipating planning money for the Tech Center will be outlined in the commissioner’s fiscal year 2019 budget, he added.

The current plan is an addition to the facility first, followed by approximately five years of renovations.

Discussions surrounding the Tech Center and both expanding and renovating the facility have been in the works for years, with plans continually changing.

Over a year ago, in January 2017, the school board and the Board of County Commissioners got their first look at a feasibility study on the future of the Career and Tech Center, which detailed four possibilities ranging from minor additions to a new building. Originally, the school board wanted to move forward with Option B, which included a total modernization and a 91,185-square-foot addition at an estimated cost of $86.1 million.

But as of October, the Board of Education updated its Capital Improvement Plan request, which would phase in a renovation for the Tech Center over time, with a smaller addition and modernization.

Eckles said the feasibility study is not being used as a planning document, adding that the school system will bring in an architect to plan the design.

The goal is to first add the addition, which will either be attached or a separate facility on the current property. Then, Eckles said, they will move some of the current programs out of the building and into the addition, and renovate that space. They plan to continually move programs into recently renovated areas and then renovate the former space, until the full facility is renovated and there is open space left at the end.

“The price tag of doing it all in one year was not palatable,” he said.