LISBON - Major renovations and a major staff addition highlighted Tuesday's meeting of the Columbiana County Career and Technical Center board.
Superintendent Chuck Adkins started the night with the introduction of chef J.R. Straley, the new Culinary Careers instructor who will work alongside current instructor Dave Kaczmarek in operation of the culinary program. Straley, who previously worked with Salem schools, spoke with great optimism for his new position, and gave insight on his work ethic.
"I come to work every day, I work hard, I love being around kids," Straley said. "I've put a lot of time in my profession. I'm awfully proud of where I ended up, and I'm tickled pink to be here."
Along with Straley's optimism comes optimism for the latest changes to the Career Center.
During the meeting, building and grounds supervisor Dave Starcher provided a tour of latest renovations of the campus. Those renovations - expected to be finished in November - will be to the culinary and science programs.
The coffee shop will be larger and have direct access to the kitchen. The restaurant will include a new design with a presentation area, heightened ceiling, new maintainable porcelain tile to resemble wood, and new vinyl and cloth seats. The restaurant and coffee shop will also provide employment for students in the culinary program.
The science department will also receive new science labs. Four rooms will be used for the science department. A classroom, two new science labs equipped with state-of-the-art technology, and a storage facility will fill the space previously used as a storage facility and a former multi-handicap room.
In addition, the restrooms near the kitchen will be moved toward the coffee shop, making them better accessible and more useful. Finally, the lunch room will receive new paintwork, carpeting, LED-recessed lighting and possible new drapes.
Along with the renovations, other business included unanimous approvals of the appointments of William Oesch and Elizabeth Wright as co-public relations coordinators and Kaczmarek as cafeteria coordinator. Also approved were updates of the adult education student handbook, adult education LPN student handbook, and staff handbook with small, minor changes to each.
One order of business not approved, however, was the school's agreement with the Columbiana County Health Department, which would have allowed the health department permission to use the Career Center for mass clinics for treatment and prevention of diseases.
Board members cited unclear language in tabling the matter.
Assistant Superintendent Jeremy Corbisello also noted during the meeting of this year's enrollment of 459 students, consisting of 240 juniors and 219 seniors as they begin classes Monday.
Adkins concluded the meeting with words of positivity regarding the staff and faculty.
"We do everything we can to help each other," Adkins said. "It is a great place to work, and I am happy for that."
The board's next meeting is 7 p.m. Sept. 17.