RCA to open $4.1M pub­lic safety wing

The Covington News - - THE CLASSIFIED SEARCH -

CONY­ERS — Rock­dale Ca­reer Academy will cel­e­brate its new state-of-the-art $4.1 mil­lion 38,000 square foot pub­lic safety wing this Wed­nes­day in a rib­bon cut­ting cer­e­mony to be at­tended by of­fi­cials in­clud­ing Lt. Gov. Casey Ca­gle.

The ex­pan­sion is funded by a $2.7 mil­lion grant from Ge­or­gia Pied­mont Tech­ni­cal Col­lege (for­merly known as DeKalb Tech­ni­cal Col­lege) and the Tech­ni­cal Col­lege Sys­tem of Ge­or­gia awarded in 2009 and in part by re­main­ing Spe­cial Pur­pose Lo­cal Op­tion Sales Tax III fund­ing. The wing is due to be ready for stu­dents in Jan­uary.

The two-story ex­pan­sion will add five sci­ence lab­o­ra­to­ries, in­clud­ing a spe­cial foren­sics lab­o­ra­tory, a train­ing 911 call cen­ter, a tar­get sim­u­la­tor, 10 class­rooms, of­fice space for lo­cal col­leges and a con­fer­ence room as well as two stair­wells and an el­e­va­tor.

“I think we’ll be the first to have an ad­di­tion like this that will en­cap­su­late a whole pro­gram,” said RCA CEO Dr. Miki Ed­wards.

“I’m just so grate­ful,” said Ed­wards. “I’m grate­ful we got the grant but I’m also so grate­ful that our sys­tem has been so sup­port­ive of it.” She said the fore­sight of the com­mu­nity hav­ing the ed­u­ca­tion SPLOST in place en­abled the pub­lic safety wing ex­pan­sion.

Ed­wards said, “We’re so ap­pre­cia­tive of the sup­port of the com­mu­nity and pub­lic safety folks.”

Pub­lic Safety in­struc­tor Ben McCum­ber said, “We’re very ex­cited and we’re very blessed to have this. This is go­ing to be huge for all the stu­dents.”

The ex­panded pub­lic safety pro­gram will in­clude Home­land Se­cu­rity cour­ses, a law pro­gram with a mock court­room setup.

The new wing not only po­si­tions RCA to ex­pand its pub­lic safety pro­gram, which cur­rently en­rolls 260 stu­dents, but also al­lows its Early Child­hood Learn­ing and health­care pro­grams to ex­pand us­ing the space that pub­lic safety used to oc­cupy. “It’s a domino ef­fect,” said Ed­wards. It also opens more space for part­ner col­leges such as GPTC and Ge­or­gia Perime­ter and also pro­vides more train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cal groups and agen­cies.

The cer­e­mony will host Lt. Gov. Casey Ca­gle and fea­ture GPTC’s new pres­i­dent Dr. Jabari Si­mama as the key­note speaker.

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