Amped Up Groundbreaking
Today Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC) and Arizona Public Service (APS) hosted a groundbreaking celebration for the new West-MEC Southwest Campus, in partnership with the City of Buckeye, Estrella Mountain Community College, and Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station.
The campus will provide programs and career training for secondary education, post-secondary education, and industry certifications in many areas including sustainable energy and industrial technology. APS and other industry partners will be involved in the curriculum development, as well as providing equipment for real-life simulations and training. The West-MEC Southwest Campus project, which will be located at I-10 and Verrado Way in Buckeye, Ariz., will eventually serve 650 students in 12 to 14 different programs.
"The opportunity to partner with APS and the valued partners will provide young people the ability to broaden their education and employment options," said West-MEC Superintendent Gregory J. Donovan. "It is one of the most exciting endeavors we've done to date."
"West-MEC and other programs like it are important components of our future workforce strategy," said Don Brandt, APS President, Chairman, and CEO. "At APS we are committed to introducing students to technology, and to providing training that will specifically prepare them to be a part of the future of Arizona."
The first phase of construction begins this month and will be completed in December 2015. Phase I includes a 32,000-square-foot, two-story Sustainable Energy building. Programs taught in this building may include energy programs that have a curricuum focused on electrical, mechanical, instrumentation, and flow loop applications. Phase I also includes a 12,500-square-foot, two-story Student Services Building. This building will feature a presentation and demonstration space with a capacity of up to 400 people.
"Estrella Mountain is excited about the potential of expanding our partnership with West-MEC to include our energy programs," said Estrella Mountain Community College Vice President of Occupational Education Dr. Clay Goodman. "These new facilities will provide access to equipment not currently available in educational environments and create pathways for high school students, veterans and re-careering adults. We thank APS for their continued commitment to education in the west valley, and look forward to expanding our 15-year partnership with them."
The second phase of construction, estimated for completion in August 2016, will include an Industrial Technology building with 23,000-square-feet of space and 10,000 square feet of outdoor work space. Programs taught in this building may include carpentry, electrical, and plumbing trades. Phase II will also include a Health Occupations building with 16,000 square feet of space for medical assisting and medical records programs.
Future phases will include buildings for STEM, veterinary assisting, auto/transportation programs, and cosmetology/personal services. The entire campus at build out will feature 167,000 square feet of building space and is situated on a 20-acre campus.
The Southwest Campus is one of four projects for the career and technical public school district funded by a $74.9 million voter-approved bond in 2012. The project's design is led by DLR Group and the general contractor is McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.
"With the addition of our Southwest Campus, West-MEC will have specialized career and technical facilities to improve the educational experience for our students. Each program offered at this campus will be aligned to industry standards, and equip students with technical skills and career certifications that will lead to jobs," said Donovan. "We see the value in developing a skilled, sustainable workforce that is well prepared for high-demand jobs."
West-MEC is a joint technical education public school district that focuses solely on innovative career and technical education (CTE) programs that prepare students to enter the workforce and pursue continuing education. West-MEC CTE programs provide students opportunities to earn college credit and industry credentials. West-MEC serves more than 21,000 students from 46 high schools, across 3,600 square miles in the northern and western cities of the Phoenix Metropolitan area. Visit www.west-mec.org for more information about West-MEC's career-driven education opportunities or follow us on Facebook (News - Alert), Twitter and Instagram.