PSD cel­e­brates Ag build­ing grand open­ing

The Standard Journal - - FRONT PAGE - By Kevin Myrick [email protected]­stan­dard­jour­

There’s a new fa­cil­ity for stu­dents to uti­lize within the Polk School Dis­trict now com­ing open for busi­ness for the first time af­ter months of con­struc­tion wrapped up and gave of­fi­cials the chance to see the new Agri­cul­tural Fa­cil­ity at Rock­mart High School in­side and out.

Stu­dents won’t of­fi­cially be moved into the build­ing and us­ing it full time un­til the start of the com­ing cal­en­dar year af­ter the sum­mer break ends, but that doesn’t mean they won’t get a chance to en­joy all the space they now have to be­come bet­ter farm­ers in the fu­ture.

Polk School Dis­trict of­fi­cials in­vited com­mu­nity lead­ers to come and cel­e­brate the open­ing of the new Polk County Col­lege and Ca­reer Academy Agri­cul­tural Fa­cil­ity on the cam­pus of Rock­mart High School dur­ing an April 12 lun­cheon and rib­bon cut­ting cer­e­mony.

Su­per­in­ten­dent Lau­rie Atkins heaped praises upon Board of Ed­u­ca­tion mem­bers, the Polk County Cat­tle­men’s As­so­ci­a­tion, R.K.R. Con­struc­tion and most im­por­tantly of all, the agri­cul­ture stu­dents who the fa­cil­ity was built to help in­crease their op­por­tu­ni­ties in the years to come.

“This build­ing will be a mul­ti­pur­pose build­ing,” Atkins said dur­ing open­ing re­marks wel­com­ing all to the new fa­cil­ity. “This will not only be a class­room for our stu­dents, but a class­room as well for our Young Farm­ers classes, where

the com­mu­nity will come in and have the op­por­tu­nity to grow and learn in (the pro­gram.) It’ll be a place we can rent out as a venue, it’ll be a place where we have a show arena and a place were we can hold meet­ings. This will be a place not just for our school, but for our com­mu­nity.”

That meet­ing area is one par­tic­u­lar spot Atkins said she hopes peo­ple will uti­lize in a va­ri­ety of ways since it will be avail­able for rent for or­ga­ni­za­tions. That process will work just like The Hon Com­pany’s Com­mu­nity Meet­ing Room at the Cedar­town cam­pus of the PCCCA.

Ad­di­tion­ally, class­rooms and cater­ing kitchens are avail­able in the space, but the real cen­ter­piece of the build­ing is the two-thirds or so of the fa­cil­ity that is cov­ered arena space.

“This is a show arena that we can’t find any­where around,” Atkins said. “It’s fan­tas­tic. It can host small rodeos and show teams.”

She added the fa­cil­ity will def­i­nitely come in handy for the ever-grow­ing num­ber of youth who par­tic­i­pate in Polk School Dis­trict’s Live­stock Show Team that brings to­gether stu­dents from both side of the county.

“We’re very proud of it,” Atkins said.

The fi­nal price tag for the fa­cil­ity was $1.2 mil­lion — fully equipped — for the var­i­ous class­room, ban­quet room and show arena spa­ces all grouped to­gether. The build­ing is mostly of metal con­struc­tion through­out, but ar­chi­tec­tural de­tails do match the build­ings right across the road­way for the main cam­pus area of the high school.

“This has been some­thing the com­mu­nity has looked for­ward to for our kids,” Atkins said. “It’s not just a great day for our schools, but our com­mu­nity, be­cause it’s a build­ing that can be used for ed­u­ca­tional pur­poses with our agri­cul­ture pro­gram, but also for ed­u­ca­tion for our com­mu­nity. For adults to come and learn about the agri­cul­ture pro­cesses in the com­mu­nity, to come and learn how to do var­i­ous things like can­ning and bee­keep­ing, and things of that na­ture through our young farm­ers pro­gram. We’re ex­cited for Polk County to­day. “

The con­struc­tion that be­gan at the start of last school year wrapped up in around 8 months de­spite weather delays at times, and will of­fi­cially open for stu­dent use start­ing in the 2019-2020 school year.

“We are so thank­ful to R.K.R. for stay­ing with the process even through all the rainy sea­sons that we had,” Atkins said.

As­sis­tant Su­per­in­ten­dent and PCCCA CEO Dr. Katie Thomas added dur­ing pre­sen­ta­tions ahead of lunch the pos­i­tive out­come of the new fa­cil­ity com­ing into use will be what stu­dents get out of it in the years to come, and the chances to grow in the ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties within the state’s largest in­dus­try.

She ad­di­tion­ally pointed to­ward re­cent praise in the state’s pos­i­tive re­view of the Col­lege and Ca­reer Academy pro­gram as how Polk County con­tin­ues to pro­vide a “model for the state” in growth and ac­ces­si­bil­ity.

kevin Myrick

Polk School Dis­trict of­fi­cials, Board of Ed­u­ca­tion mem­bers and lo­cal com­mu­nity part­ners all gath­ered for the of­fi­cial rib­bon cut­ting at the Polk County Col­lege and Ca­reer Academy Agri­cul­tural Fa­cil­ity on April 12, 2019.

kevin Myrick

A new cov­ered arena can be used for a va­ri­ety of events, but es­pe­cially small rodeos at the new Polk County Col­lege and Ca­reer Academy Agri­cul­tural Fa­cil­ity at Rock­mart High School.

kevin Myrick

The new Agri­cul­tural Fa­cil­ity at Rock­mart High School in­cludes a cov­ered arena for mul­ti­pur­pose use.

kevin Myrick

Su­per­in­ten­dent Lau­rie Atkins thanked a va­ri­ety of groups for their help in bring­ing the Polk County Col­lege and Ca­reer Academy Agri­cul­tural Fa­cil­ity to life, but es­pe­cially thanked stu­dents for pro­vid­ing the rea­son for their ef­forts.

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