Board puts focus on vocation

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— The Hayden School Board spent nearly 45 minutes discussing the future of the vocational program in the district during Wednesday's meeting.

No formal decisions were made at the meeting, but board members were supportive of the district's vocational program and expressed an interest in looking at plans for a vocational building in Hayden, Superintendent Mike Luppes said.

"No decisions were made and nothing was voted on, but it was a good discussion of where we are at and where it's going," Luppes said.

Luppes expected the future of a vocational building and the vocational program in general to be a discussion item on the School Board's agenda in the coming months.

Vocational teacher Kevin Kleckler, who works with the district's welding, auto body and auto mechanics classes, was pleased with the discussion that took place Wednesday.

Kleckler has secured $70,000 in grant money from the Carl Perkins Tech Prep, which is to be divided up during two years.

Less than half of that money can be used toward building a physical structure to house the classes, but construction of a vocational building is the direction Kleckler wants the district to take.

"We are expanding because of the popularity of the welding and automotive classes," Kleckler said.

Preliminary plans for the vocational building, which would attach to the current welding shop would be 75 feet by 100 feet. Preliminary costs are $200,000, but that would be for the shell. Indoor work such as plumbing and electrical work would cost additional money.

"The board is committed to doing this project," Kleckler said.

Work couldn't start on any vocational projects until the School Board takes formal action to approve the building.

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