State to Fund New Vocational School in Somerset Co. - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

State to Fund New Vocational School in Somerset Co.

WESTOVER, Md.- Plans are in the works to bring a new vocational school to Somerset County, and the state is paying for it.

Dr. John Gaddis, Somerset County’s school superintendent, said the state notified him about covering the cost of construction for a new trade school. He said the J.M. Tawes Technology and Career Center is more than 50 years old and no longer meets the needs of students.

"When we received the memo, or the official email last week, that said the state would cover 100 percent of the construction cost for fiscal year16, 17, and 18, we were absolutely thrilled," Dr. Gaddis said.

Leo Lawson, the spokesperson for Somerset County Public Schools, said the Maryland Board of Public Works is paying for construction. Dr. Gaddis said estimated cost for the facility is $38 million. He said that is more than the school system’s budget.

Inside Stacy Grant’s Strategic Hair Design studio, she gives the scoop on one of her techniques.  Grant set up shop, in Princess Anne, two years ago. She loves doing hair and knows several young girls who want to learn how.

"A lot of students that I have come in contact with always wanted a program here in Somerset County,” Grant said. “Somerset County is the only county, that I do know of, that does not have cosmetology."

That will not be the case for long. Dr. Gaddis said the new facility will allow for more students and new programs; cosmetology will be one of them. He said officials will seek public input on program ideas.
“We've talked out loud a little bit about do we need to do; something with marine sciences. Obviously, in Crisfield, we're on the sound on the Chesapeake Bay. We've looked at entering back into the agricultural programs, diesel mechanic programs [and more], ” Dr. Gaddis said.

Officials said a few feasibility studies will have to be completed before construction starts. Officials would like the new facility to sit on-site. The school, which is attached to the Board of Education’s office building, sits on 140 acres of land.

Dr. Gaddis said construction could start within a year-and-a-half and be complete in three years.

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