Liverpool Regional High School (LRHS) is expanding to accommodate a new program to provide students with hands-on experience in the trades.
Plans are being finalized for a new skills trade centre to be built out from the existing tech education classroom at the back of the school.
The skills trade program currently offered at LRHS exposes Grade 10 students to the fundamentals of carpentry, drywall, plumbing and electrical.
Vice Principal Todd Symes says it is so popular, it has three sections filled to capacity and a waiting list.
Symes attributes the demand for the program to the instructors.
“In particular our Grade 9 tech ed or elective teacher Mr. Ambrocichuk. He really generates a lot of passion and enthusiasm in the lab. Students relate really well to him. They really enjoy their experience in his room and he kind of says, you know if you like this course, another course you might want to try is skills trade 10,” said Symes.
The new skills trade centre will expand the tech ed program to a suite of courses that will help prepare students to enter the trades.
“They would have a career path that would basically allow these students to develop their red seal hours. They would develop over 200 hours towards their red seal,” said Symes. “The ideal is to have a teacher come in who is also red seal qualified, who would be the instructor in a new facility built outside.”
Symes says that head start on getting the apprenticeship hours and the hands-on training is appealing to students.
“I think that’s a big draw point for a lot of the kids. I know we had some initial conversations with students from Park View and Forest Heights back before we were selected and that’s one of the reasons they selected the program and I think that’s one of the reasons it’s popular here,” said Symes.
He says the new program would work well with the existing options and opportunities program. O2 as it is called, guarantees students a spot at NSCC and applies credits earned in high school to their college courses.
The department of education and early childhood development announced in November 2019 that Liverpool Regional High would be one of five schools that would be expanded to accommodate a skills trade program.
The funding is part of an $85 million capitol plan to support 12 projects in 11 communities.
Symes says the building site has been selected and a lot of the background preparation has been done to support the new class.
The new skills trade program is already listed in the school course book for the fall and students have begun enrolling.
He expects ground will be broken on the expansion in the next few weeks and the new space will be ready to receive students this coming September.
Reported by Ed Halverson
To listen to the broadcast of this story, press play below.