You are currently viewing With student career paths in mind, Akron Public Schools opens new Garfield Community Learning Center

With student career paths in mind, Akron Public Schools opens new Garfield Community Learning Center

Akron Public Schools celebrated the opening of its 35th Community Learning Center on Saturday, a milestone that is part of a massive 15-year, more than $800 million building renovation and construction initiative. .

The new high school, called Garfield Community Learning Center (CLC), is based on the site of the former Kenmore-Garfield High School. It has new equipment to encourage students to acquire technical skills to give them a head start in the career of their choice.

According to a brochure distributed at a groundbreaking event on Saturday, the new building has two gymnasiums, an auditorium that seats 756 people, a shooting range for junior ROTC students and a resource center. of learning with a “creative space”. Other amenities include eight science labs, a large workshop for students learning engineering trades, and a commercial-grade culinary kitchen that serves as a student learning lab.

The school also retains some elements of its past to appeal to old-timers, such as a new gymnasium bearing the same name as its predecessor (the Martin O. Chapman Gymnasium).

During a speech at Saturday’s event, District Superintendent Christine Fowler-Mack said the opening of the school now means the “vast majority” of APS students will be learning in facilities ” at the cutting edge of technology”.

“My word for this place continues to be, ‘Wow,'” Fowler-Mack said.

Conor Morris


Ideastream Public Media

The exterior of the new Garfield Community Learning Center in Akron.

She said the building was built with college and career readiness in mind.

Joseph Nicolino, freshman academy director at Garfield CLC, said he was excited about the new facilities emphasizing APS’s “academic” learning model, where after first year, students can choose one of two building academies, with different career paths in each.

For example, the Academy of Emerging Technologies and Design will allow students to learn various disciplines ranging from engineering professions to business management, and the Academy of Innovation and Industry will allow students to learn more about culinary arts or nursing.

“It’s about preparing children for their future, without focusing too much on, you have to take four years of English. It’s about preparing you for a job, college, career or military service,” he said.

School board chairman NJ Akbar said in a speech that the new buildings are called community learning centers because after classes end, the facilities are open to the public and intended for use by everyone, not just students. and staff.

“This building is for you,” he told the assembled listeners.

Phil Mitchell, an engineering technology instructor and himself a graduate of Garfield High School, said the new facility provides the perfect location for his program, with a classroom adjacent to an open-concept workshop housing lathes , drill presses and CNC machines.

“The manufacturing is huge in this area, and just spreading it out, letting people know it exists here and the opportunity is there, I think more and more people will want to get involved, and I hopefully this will affect more people in Akron’s manufacturing workforce,” he said.

Nikkie Armstrong, a former student of Garfield in 1996, said the new school was simply “beautiful”. With her face painted in the school colors of purple and gold, she recalled that conditions at her old high school weren’t ideal. She and a fellow graduate remembered the roof was leaking near the main entrance in their freshman year.

“They had waste barrels (to catch the rain), and we were used to that,” she said.

Armstrong currently has her 10- and 13-year-old children in private school, in part because of the conditions she and her 23-year-old son experienced in public schools in Akron before recent construction projects.

She added that she thinks the new facilities will, however, encourage more parents to choose to send their children to Akron Public School.

The former Kenmore-Garfield High School is the result of a merger between Kenmore and Garfield high schools in the 2017-2018 school year due to declining enrollment.

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