Supt. Tim Eaton and Principal Beth Hargis are proud as punch of the Pulaski County Area Technology Center.

The two educators on Thursday guided members of the Somerset Kiwanis Club on a tour of the facility, now in its first year of operation.

“We want to market this in the community,” said Eaton, superintendent of the Pulaski County School District. “We value your input,” he told the touring Kiwanians.

The Pulaski County Area Technology Center, one of 22 in Kentucky, is a “state-operated area technical school.” Eaton explained. It provides technical educational programs for secondary students with hands-on training in program areas, student placement assistance, cooperative education, clinical internship and practical experiences.

The technology center is located in the remodeled former Food Lion building on south U.S. 27. Eaton said the property cost $2.2 million and another $1.9 million were spent to renovate the expansive structure. The school district owns the property and employees work for the state.

Eaton said he is thankful for the amount of equipment allotted to the local technology center. He indicated that part of the reason for the generous equipment supply is available space in the abandoned and now remodeled supermarket.

The school district obtained the property last February and Branscum Construction Company, Russell Springs, “did a fantastic job” and completed the renovation by August 8, Eaton said.

Hargis said the center will accommodate 400 students, but its first-year enrollment is 275. Eaton noted that students from Pulaski County and Southwestern high schools currently use the facility “ ... and Somerset High School will join us next school year.”

Some of the students at the technology center plan to enter college and many of the students are trained to enter the workforce upon completion of high school. Juniors and seniors currently utilize the center. They spend part of their school days at the center and are bused from their high schools.

Eaton said programs at the technology center were created by needs in the community. Currently taught are automotive technology, carpentry, health sciences, information technology and welding.

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