An artist's rendering of the new Energy Operations and Lineworker training facility soon to be under construction at Buckeye Career Center's main campus in New Philadelphia. (Submitted)

New Philadelphia, Ohio - Buckeye Career Center is increasing its footprint on career and technical education with the addition of a new Energy Operations and Utility Lineworker training facility. 

The 15,000-square-foot facility will house the high school Energy Operations program, which enrolls nearly 90 students each year, in addition to high school Natural Resources, Adult Education EMS/Fire Safety programs, the Adult Education Utility Lineworker program, and new for the 2020 school year will be a high school Utility Lineworker program.

A groundbreaking ceremony is tentatively scheduled for March 11th. The project should take around a year to complete with the building open to students next fall.

BCC Superintendent Bob Alsept says the project is due to the continued demand for qualified workers. 

“The oil and gas industry has an increased need but all sectors are looking for trained employees. Helping to prepare new employees and replace retiring workers is vital to what we do for all fields of employment, and this new building will help us in that mission,” he says. 

The addition will also allow BCC to again provide a permanent home for the Adult Education EMS/Fire Safety programs, which have temporarily been housed in the former New Philadelphia Fire Department. 

BCC Curriculum, Instruction, and Adult Education Director Frank Polen says this will benefit both high school and adult education students.

“We’ll be able to offer more industry credentials, such as CPR/First Aid on-site,” he says.

The building will feature four high-bay labs, four classrooms, and one – 65 feet tall indoor lineworker training facility, complete with six climbing poles. Tuscon Inc. will provide civil construction and Benchmark Construction will serve as the general contractor for the brick and metal-sided structure, both submitting the lowest bids for the project. 

BCC Natural Resources students worked this fall to clear trees from the construction site and Adult Education Heavy Equipment/CDL A Operator students helped prepare the ground for construction. BCC will also maintain the current outdoor lineworker training facility. 

Updates and photos of the project will be available on Buckeye Career Center's social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.