Somerset County Plans For New Vocational School - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Somerset County Plans For New Vocational School

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J.M. Tawes Technology & Career Center (WBOC) J.M. Tawes Technology & Career Center (WBOC)

WESTOVER, Md.- The Somerset County School Board received funding approval from the County Commissioners to move forward with a major capital improvement project. School administrators plan to build a new J.M. Tawes Technology and Career Center on the J.M. Tawes campus grounds where the current school is located.

The Somerset County Commissioners have allocated $1,824,000 in FY 2017 and will commit $7,383,000 over the next four fiscal years to see the J.M. Tawes Technology and Career Center project to completion, according to Leo Lawson, Somerset County Schools spokesman.

Lisa Davies is a former student who said she is glad to hear the school is finally growing.

"It was very small when I went there and there weren't a whole lot of kids going then; I feel the bigger space will allow for more kids to go there and hopefully there will be more classes then just the ones when I went there," Davies said.

According to Lawson, three new programs will be added to the current school curriculum when the new school opens. They include pre-engineering project "Lead the Way," medium-heavy truck technician and horticulture. 

Somerset County Administrator Doug Taylor said the school board has the county's funding support through the planning process and said local tax rates are not affected.

Somerset County is one of Maryland's counties eligible to receive 100 percent state funding for construction for capital improvement projects. The local planning approval is a huge first step for the county seeking final approval from the State of the J.M. Tawes Capital Improvement Project.

If the project is approved by the county and state, construction is expected to start July 2017 and the new J.M. Tawes Technology and Career Center is expected to open September 2019.

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