New Tech High School Project On Target

SNOW HILL – The new Worcester County Technical High School is slightly behind schedule, but the time is being made up, project supervisors reported to the County Commissioners this week.

 “We’re just a little off on our timeline, but we’re catching up,” said Board of Education President Gary Mumford.

The journey to the new high school, now renamed Worcester County Technical High School (THS) from Worcester County Career and Technical Center, began 10 years ago, said Worcester County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jon A. Andes. The new building will open in fall 2008 on Route 113.

“We should have it under roof by the end of the year,” said Joe Price, facilities planner for the Board of Education.

Some brickwork has been started, Price said, and paving of the parking lots and bus loop has already begun. Two of three stormwater ponds have also been completed.

Price said that 80 percent of the second-floor exterior walls are finished and the rest are being framed.           

The school offers 13 programs and plans to add several more when the new building opens in fall 2008, said THS Principal Dr. Jane Pruitt. New programs planned include pre-engineering, electrical wiring, automotive body/collision repair, biomedical science, dental assisting, and early childhood/daycare.          

“We’ve received four grants that will support the pre-engineering program,” Pruitt said, adding that local students can then attend University of Maryland Eastern Shore, which now has an engineering program.

THS prepares students for further education as well as immediate employment, Pruitt said. The dental assisting program could put a student on the path to becoming a dentist. The early childhood program could let a student get a start on college level coursework that they would need to get a teaching degree.

“It doesn’t lock them into a career. It can be a jumping off point,’ Pruitt said.

Worcester County has agreements with several colleges, not just local institutions, to accept credits earned here as college credit.

The technical center also offers some popular electives, like HTML and computer-aided drawing classes, Pruitt said.

Some academic courses are also available through the career and technical center.

“Combining these programs of study with academic preparation is the best thing we can do,” Pruitt said.