Ashland County-West Holmes Career Center building

The Ashland County-West Holmes Career Center Adult Education program has been accredited by the Commission of the Council On Occupational Education.

ASHLAND — Construction on a new $45 million career center in Ashland is still 18 to 24 months out, said the center’s superintendent, Rod Cheyney, at an Ashland City Schools board meeting Monday.

Ashland County-West Holmes Career Center’s superintendent delivered his projection during a presentation made to the Ashland school board following the passage of a 1.1 mill permanent improvement levy on the ballot earlier this month.

“We passed a levy, now we have to go look at selling bonds,” Cheyney said,

He noted it will be around March before the school has finished that part of the process. ACWHCC will also begin the search for an architectural firm, which also takes time.

Meanwhile, the school will need to shift some things around to accommodate an influx in students.

Cheyney said the career center has 432 students currently enrolled and is expecting that number to climb closer to 500 by next school year.

“I need space,” he said, reiterating his gratitude to voters who, according to official election results, passed the levy by a margin of 429 votes.

The new levy will cost the owner of a $100,000 home $38.50 per year. The school serves students in Ashland, Holmes and Wayne counties.

Passing the levy was important to the school because it needed to demonstrate to the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission that it could come up with a local share of the total cost.

The OFCC committed $10.9 million to the project after officials there placed ACWHCC at the top of the list of career technical schools eligible for state funds for facility upgrades in 2019.

The plan includes acquiring the Ashland County Service Center to create a new adult education facility. The rest of the space will be used for board offices and a temporary holding place during renovation. That project is expected to cost $11.1 million.

The new career center building, when finished, will have larger classrooms and lab space to make more room for the increase in enrollment.

The center will also have new high school programs, including education towards becoming a licensed practical nurse, an electrician, an HVAC technician and a dental assistant.

The center will also house a sophomore academy and a number of new adult education programs.

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