STEUBENVILLE — Hundreds of students and staff members of Steubenville City Schools made their mark on the school district’s future STEM building Monday when they used permanent ink markers to sign their names to two 40-foot-long steel beams that will be used in the facility under. construction next to Steubenville High School.
Crews with Grae-Con Construction of Steubenville continue to build the three-story, 28,000-square-foot structure, which is expected to house nearly a dozen career technical programs involving science, technology, engineering and math.
Funded with federal economic stimulus money and a $100,000 donation from the Brooks Foundation, the $16 million project is slated for completion in spring 2024.
Ted Gorman, the high school’s principal, noted the building is expected to house nearly a dozen career technical programs, building on the school district’s existing STEM program, which includes pupils at the elementary level at McKinley STEM Academy.
The high school currently offers programs in aerospace engineering and aviation, global logistics and supply chain management, health infomatics, innovations in science and technology, computer aided drafting, multimedia and design, web design, marketing, information technology, transition to work, exercise science. , teacher education and in cooperation with Eastern Gateway Community College, phlebotomy and pharmacy technology.
There are plans next year to add instruction in environmental sustainability, clean energy and power, integrated production technology and biomedical science.
Gorman said the new building’s features will include state-of-the-art equipment to help students prepare for future careers, from a television studio with green screen projection equipment to a rooftop garden where they may engage in hydroponics and other agricultural studies.
He added there are plans to add a greenhouse to the rear of the building while a skywalk will link the STEM building to the high school.
Gorman said the plans call for the corridor to extend to the high school’s third floor into an area currently occupied by the multimedia room, which will be divided into two classrooms and replaced with a new multimedia room in the STEM building.
He said the skywalk will provide access between the buildings while addressing security and weather-related issues.
Gorman watched as many students, in grades kindergarten through 12th grade, signed the two beams with help from students in the high school’s Ambassadors group.
“They have been asked to sign their name and the year in which they will graduate,” he said, noting the next group, from the Wells Academy elementary program, were signing as members of the future Class of 2034.
Jessie Clark, who teaches college-level courses in chemistry at the high school through Eastern Gateway Community College, was asked if she was looking forward to the STEM building’s completion.
“Oh, my gosh, yes. It’s incredible that we will be able to have this,” said Clark, who added her daughter, currently attending McKinley STEM Academy, will be among many youth who will benefit from its facilities.
Tiarra Williams, a junior at the high school, said she is interested in science, particularly ecology, and hopes the STEM building will help her to explore a career in that area.
Kane Kimble, a freshman at the high school, said of the new addition, “I think it’s cool. It’s going to add a lot of opportunities for people.”
Also reflecting on the future STEM building was aviation instructor Natalie Campana, who has guided Steubenville High School students interested in working as pilots, engineers and in other positions in the aerospace industry.
About 100 students currently are enrolled in the course, which has included simulations at the school and hands-on experience at the Jefferson County Airpark.
“With the new building, we will be expanding on what we have here,” Campana said, adding, “The big thing is it will give our students the opportunity to explore a variety of careers.”