Career center annex allows growth, but lacks a name

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

With the addition of an annex, three new programs offered and an increased community presence, the Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center has grown to the extent it has had to turn people away.

Last year, 401 students were enrolled; this year, the number is 576, an increase of nearly 44 percent.

"We turned away 77 adults that wanted to come in to programs but we didn't have slots open for them," said director Rich Payne.

He said is has been difficult to keep up with demand. Three new full-time staff members have been added. The annex, 12,000 square feet at the cost of $1.4 million, opened at the end of August. It houses programs for electrical trades and cabinet making. The other new program, machine tool technology, is held on property of Southeast Missouri State University.

The state contributed $750,000 to the project, AmerenUE Community Development Corporation $150,000, and local donors contributed $375,000.

The name of the annex, however, is up in the air. A motion to name the annex the "Martin Jansen Annex" did not carry at a school board meeting Monday night. The name was at the request of a donor wishing to remain private.

Martin Jansen created the furniture division of Columbia Construction, responsible for hotel cabinetry, and served as president from 1983 until his death in 2000.

Payne said he is not sure why the measure did not pass but that it was the district's prerogative.

"I imagine they have their reasons. Naming facilities isn't the easiest thing," he said.

Board members could not be reached for comment.

335-6611, extension 123

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