In response to an increased request from students to enroll in career and technical education (CTE) courses the West Des Moines Community School District reached out to Shive-Hattery for assistance with designing an addition at the Valley Southwoods Freshman High School.
“When we talk about post-secondary ready, career-ready, and life-ready that doesn’t always mean a four-year college or university,” said Dr. Lisa Remy, Superintendent of WDMCSD. “So, we want to make sure that we’re opening doors for all students to see success in very different ways.”
A 29,000 square foot addition was designed by Shive-Hattery includes welding bays and auto lifts along with an outdoor construction yard where students will build walls for homes and complete other larger projects.
“One of the biggest components of Valley Southwoods that’s been missing is our CTE programming,” said Mitch Kuhnert, Principal of Valley Southwoods Freshman High School. “Whether it’s manufacturing, woodworking, but also a culinary arts lab.”
School officials expect interest in career and technical education courses to continue to rise once the facility is completed and students get a chance to see the space.
“This facility offers real equipment, real-world experiences,” Kuhnert added. “It’s a vision of the future, it’s what’s coming down the road. I think we’re really being progressive in trying to meet the needs of our community.”