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AISD committee proposing a new Career and Technology Education Center for $35 million

The Abilene ISD school board is considering a proposed Career and Technology Education Center for $35 million.

At an Abilene ISD school board meeting on Monday night, members of the Master Facilities Planning Committee discussed their recommendations for the district.

Dr. David Young, the Superintendent for AISD, said that the committee is asking for a bond of $136 million to be placed on the November election ballot.

"They are weighing the recommendation with the needs of the community and may determine to call a bond election or they may decide not to," Young said.

If the school board decides to move forward, the bond would take place in November or possibly in May, according to Young.

Other recommendations would be to replace three elementary schools, including Dyess Elementary School, Austin Elementary School and Taylor Elementary School, along with improvements to the fine arts and athletic departments.

The CTE Center would not only benefit the school district's students, according to Young.

"It's an efficient way to make sure that you offer cutting-edge programming in areas that students are interested in, but more importantly, areas that the Abilene community, business and industry partners need job training in,” Young said.

The CTE program is already in place in different Abilene high schools, but the CTE Center would be a place where all students could go to get hands-on vocational training.

Young said that the CTE program is expensive, so it is important to have a committee look at all of the things that would enhance AISD.

“As an administration, we may have an idea of what we think the needs of the district are, and certainly, we provided information and answered questions, however, it really does need to be a community-driven exercise,” Young said.

Another meeting will be taking place on Thursday at 5 p.m. at One AISD Center, which will be open to the public.

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