If educational resources represent one of the strongest predictors of a community's future, then the Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center promises to return mightily on the $11 million it cost to build. This state-of-the-art facility neighboring the under-construction Central High School is built like a giant T with three wings, one for health-related careers, one for business and one for trade and industry. The philosophy is to provide students a top-quality, hands-on experience with the newest and best technology.
Among the amenities of the new structure is something notably lacking in the previous location: space. Director Harold Tilley explained: "We were maxed out in the old building, and we couldn't add any more technology." At 120,000 square feet, it's double the size of the previous facility.
Technology doesn't stand still in the modern world, as those who use computers or work with almost any type of machinery know. Technology also serves as backbone to the increasing productivity of the United States economy, which propels our standard of living. Combined with the university's new polytechnic building, Southeast Missouri has become one of the country's leaders in hands-on, technical education.
Nor is the Career and Technology Center just for high school students. It will be used to teach classes to the general public in activities ranging from electrical house-wiring to ballroom dance. Businesses can rent out the multipurpose room and be catered and served by students studying restaurant management at the state-of-the-art culinary facility.
It's an expensive facility, made possible by a public convinced of the importance of educational progress. The foresight of the investment bodes well for the community.