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Groundbreaking both symbolic and significant

Tossing the dirt into the air at Collins Career Center Wednesday may have been a symbolic gesture more than anything else but it was important nonetheless.

The county’s vocational school hosted a formal groundbreaking at the school to signify the start of the $22 million renovation project.

The end result won’t be a new structure per se but it won’t be far from it as the comprehensive project includes the renovation project includes expanding classroom sizes by approximately 150 square feet and adding an additional 11,000 square feet to the building to meet code according to the Ohio School Facilities Commission.

The project would also modernize the cafeteria and repair a crumbling infrastructure, which includes repairing the sewage plant, heating and air conditioning, electricity and a leaky roof. The facility is the oldest educational structure in use in the county, built in the 1970s.

This will mean that the school that helps prepare hundreds of high school students and adults to enter the business world, armed with the skills they need to immediately contribute will be well-positioned for years to come.

It was a narrow victory that took several tries but the fact that voters supported this property tax levy is a testament to what Collins is doing.

A skilled, able workforce is vital to the economic growth of any region. Southern Ohio has many people who possess the innate traits of dedication, hardworking and intelligence. These individuals just need the opportunity to receive the training employers seek.

Higher education isn’t for everyone. Vocational school fills an important need.

Now, thanks to community support and a vision for the future, Collins Career Center should be able to fill that need for years to come.