Sep 20 2023
Gilbert McClanahan | WCHS
BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va. (WCHS) — The Cabell County Career and Technical Center is another step closer to becoming a reality.
The new facility will be renamed the Woody Williams Center for Advanced Learning and Careers in honor of the renowned West Virginia hero.
The facility will be located at the Huntington Mall in the former Sears building and school leaders hope the new facility will be the seed that grows programming.
"This new facility more than doubles the square footage of what our current facility has," Cabell County School Superintendent Dr. Ryan Saxe told Eyewitness News.
Michael Harshbarger teaches math at the center and noted more space will for additional students and programming.
"Most of our programs have a waiting list so we have students that wanted to join our school and learn a trade," Harshbarger said. "They are not able right now because we are at full capacity."
Adding programs is good news for students such as Madison Shoemaker who is studying carpentry.
"They might have a new plumbing program that would be useful," Shoemaker said. "I'm thinking about taking that class."
Meanwhile, Saxe believes the impact of the new center will be felt beyond the mall property.
"I think it's also going to be something of an economic driver that is going to attract businesses to want to move here and hire from our local job market," Saxe said.
Construction on the project is expected to take two years to complete. The new facility at the mall will be secure for students as the public will not be allowed inside. The building will also have a school resource officer.