Today was a superb day for Dr. Kim Morrison. What she thought was a meeting to answer questions about a grant she had written turned into a surprise announcement that Mount Airy City Schools (MACS) had been awarded $2,617,626 to expand Career and Technical Education (CTE) space at Mount Airy High School! North Carolina State Superintendent Catherine Truitt was joined by local and state politicians to discuss the support around the grant proposal. County Commission Van Tucker was present to confirm that the county commissioners were committing $137,769 to the project bringing the total project to $2,755,395. Following Morrison’s answering of questions and clarifications, Truitt presented a surprised Morrison with the check.
When asked about the announcement Morrison shared, “We were surprised when Catherine Truitt along with state and local politicians called us to answer a few questions about our CTE expansion grant. It was exciting for her to pull out a check for over $2.6 million dollars and I am excited to bring this money to the children of Mount Airy. The partnership of the County Commissioners is essential for us to renovate spaces to make sure all students are prepared to graduate college and career ready.”
Morrison submitted a grant proposal to the Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund (NBPSCF) to provide more space to accommodate the expanded CTE programs that have been needed due to the increased enrollment of students in CTE courses at MAHS. The NBPSCF fund was created to assist county governments in meeting their public school building needs. A local graduation requirement in MACS requires all students to be a CTE or arts concentrator in which they choose a workforce development pathway. These pathways match needs in the job market in our region as well as match student interest in specific careers. As MAHS has increased workforce development offerings, enrollment and interest has increased which has developed the need for the first floor of the old junior high building to be the perfect site for new programs such as Esports, robotics, Project Lead the Way Aerospace Engineering, agriculture, and more. The building renovation will allow for up-to-date equipment, simulators, and devices that can be accessed by all students who will be attaining these workforce credentials. The ADA-compliant space will support the over 75% of students taking CTE courses with new bathrooms, an arena for Esports and robotic competitions as well as workspace labs and spaces to get prepared for competitions.