By Steve White, Grand Island Bureau Chief - bio | email
Two months from now, kids will begin a journey on the "pathway" to success as Grand Island prepares to open a school the likes of which we've never seen before.
"This is the future," Dan Petsch says, as he shows off the Career Pathways Institute - Adams Street Campus.
The future is now at Grand Island Public Schools, or at least it's two months from now, when the first students arrive.
Petsch said, "The kids, when they walk in the first thing that's going to impact them is they'll say, 'wow, this is neat.'"
Engaging kids for 21st century careers is the goal along any of a dozen pathways. Five of them will be based in the new facility, with others at Grand Island Senior High, Central Community College, and St. Francis Medical Center.
"We need people to keep Grand Island's businesses running. If not, some places might have to go elsewhere for manpower," Petsch said, crediting the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce for being part of the team.
They've also consulted with industry to get the same machines the pros use.
Communications Coordinator Jack Sheard said, "We have state of the art equipment, tables are in this. One of the most exciting things to see as it comes together."
The idea has been growing since 2005. And when a manufacturing plant here moved out, the school district swooped in.
"Old warehouse is transformed into a high level teaching facility," Petsch explained.
This facility will host automotive, manufacturing, information systems, construction, and related industries, ready to adapt to what those industries need.
Petsch said, "Whatever might happen, we'll make changes as time goes."
Ceilings and floors are going in, and soon they'll test the equipment. A program coordinator starts next month.
The only thing missing is the students, who arrive August 18.
"Working towards that date, make sure we're ready," Petsch said.
The school board will make the name official this week. It's the Career Pathways Institute - Adams Street.