amarillo career academy

Amarillo (Texas) board approves plans for $54.4 million career academy

March 12, 2020
The 196,000-square-foot facility will be an expansion of the Amarillo Area Center for Advanced Learning.

The Amarillo (Texas) school board has approved plans for a new $54.4 million Career Academy.

The Amarillo Globe-News reports that the 196,000-square-foot facility will be an expansion of the Amarillo Area Center for Advanced Learning. It will offer 10 career pathways for students, including a medical arts academy; STEM and IT academy; and a business, marketing and finance academy, covering more than 20 programs of study.

The academy is scheduled to  open in two phases: the eastern part in August 2021 and the western part in January 2022.

Seeing the schematic design made board president Robin Malone hopeful and optimistic for the future.

“Our mission in our district is to prepare all of our students for life and success beyond high school,” Malone says. “What we have learned is that means something different for different students. I think that this project is in that same vein... I think it’s going to be a great project for our community. I think it’s going to be great for our workforce. I think it’s going to be a great confidence builder for those students who are trying to figure out exactly what they want to do. I think we are moving in the right direction.”

Although the cost for an academy is substantial, Amarillo Area Center for Advanced Learning Principal Jay Barrett says he thinks the cost to the district of not having a career academy would be greater.

“We will see our community diminish in capacity if we don’t have something like this,” he says. “This isn’t just a high school thing, but it’s a college thing. It’s a community thing. It’s a business community thing because we are going to be able to show prospective companies who may come into Amarillo what we are doing...”

Malone says she sees the academy as an investment in the community, in the city and in the district’s students.

“I think it’s recognized that... our students’ needs are as diverse as our students,” Malone says. “I think (the academy) is going to address that diversity. I think that investment --- we are going to get a return on that.”

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