Are hammers and hard hats on your back to school list? While moms, dads, and kids prepare for this school year, Grand Island makes plans for 2013 when the state's first technical high school opens.
It's the kind of school Dan Petsch wishes he could've attended as a kid
"It's going to be wow, look at that," he said.
It's a special program where students could gain technical skills to graduate into a good career.
"Try to keep our kids here in town, benefit some of those businesses that need our labor from
kids in the high school," said Petsch, head of facilities for Grand Island Public Schools.
Having heard the cry from local manufacturing plants that have a hard time finding skilled employees, Grand Island public Schools embarked on a new kind of tech school.
Petsch said, "We are first to do it as this level."
They call it the Career pathways Institute. Kids will spend half a day studying everything from construction to information systems and the other half in standard classes across town at Grand Island Senior High.
Before it launches next year, they need to work out the bugs. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Robin Dexter said they will have pilot programs during this school year.
She said, "We're looking at transportation issues, how do we get kids out there and back and again with curriculum . Half-day for material versus 55 minutes."
It's been about three years since the district purchased a vacant manufacturing plant for this purpose.
Demolition is in full swing inside, to make way for the new programs. It's the first visible sign of progress.
"It's amazing how long it's taken us to get here," Petsch said.
It should be open 12 months from now. In the meantime, they're going to do some pilot programs during this school year to figure out some of the logistics.