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Board approves CATE site

The campus of Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School will soon house a CATE facility.

The Jasper County School District’s school board voted unanimously during its Sept. 25 meeting to approve M.B. Kahn and Stevens and Wilkinson to construct a new CATE facility on the Ridgeland campus. Construction, once it begins, will take about two years to complete.

“The new facility was approved and the exact location on the Ridgeland campus is yet to be decided,” board chairman Tedd Moyd said. “There will be factors to be considered, including the best use of the land that is available and where would be best in terms of parking spaces.”

Moyd said the size of the facility and the cost is also not known at this time but will be decided upon once the exact location for the new facility has been established. The actual starting date for the project will also be decided once more details have been completed.

This past February, the board hired M.B. Kahn, which analyzed current facilities owned by the district, to see which facility would be a good fit for the CATE program. Other facilities under consideration included the current Beaufort-Jasper Academy for Career Excellence building, the Bees Creek property, Ridgeland campus school, and the old Jasper County High School building. Factors for the evaluation of each property were location, size and cost for renovations. New construction of an entirely new building on other land was a consideration; however this would have been a difficult and expensive choice.

“This new facility will be very beneficial to the children of the Jasper County School District since operations with Beaufort County and BJACE will cease in 2019,” Moyd said. “This new facility will allow students to get the same courses they were being offered at ACE.”

The new facility, Moyd said, will allow students to have more time in the classroom and less time traveling to get to class. Students who attended BJACE were taken by bus to the facility for classes each day, eliminating what could have been instructional time for the students.

“Students will be able to walk next door to the next facility, so this will give them more classroom time,” Moyd said.

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