DERRY — Pinkerton Academy is growing.
This time, it's the Career and Technical Education students who will reap rewards of new facilities and programs.
In 18 months, the Derry high school plans to have new buildings open to enhance its already popular Career and Technical, or CTE, programs.
Existing CTE space will get much-needed upgrades and Pinkerton will also get a new sugarhouse.
The school hosted a public meeting Monday night to offer more details on the building plan — one that will be funded with $7.8 million from the state, earmarked for CTE center upgrades. Fewer than a dozen residents turned out to hear details of the plan.
Pinkerton is one of 23 CTE centers in the state in line to receive state support to improve programs and facilities.
The building plan includes construction of a one-story, 6,500-square-foot building near the existing animal science area in the lower portion of campus.
A second, 15,000-square-foot building would be built on the site of the portable classrooms that were demolished last year . It would be home to Pinkerton's architecture, environmental studies and engineering classes.
A third building planned is a 2,000-square-foot building across the road from campus that would be used for storage.
The plan also includes renovations to the existing Low building, Campus Corner store upgrades and a new sugarhouse.
"In the next 18 months, we will replace some buildings that are 60 years old and programs that are 30 years old," Pinkerton CTE director Jack Grube said.
Right now, Pinkerton offers numerous CTE programs from animal science to construction, from engineering to culinary arts, from video production to health sciences.
Sen. James Rausch, R-Derry, was instrumental in working at the state level to make the CTE improvements happen.
"I have a real strong feeling that CTE center are critical," he said. "Not every child has to go to college, but every child wants and needs a career and gainful employment. That's what these centers do."
Rausch, a veterinarian, has worked with Pinkerton for years on its animal science program. The school will now be able to offer a pre-veterinary program with new space planned.
Grube said construction would be done in phases during the 18-month project. Work will begin this summer.
CTE students will help with some construction projects.
Headmaster Mary Anderson said the improved facilities and new buildings will be a boost to students and their future career paths.
"It's very exciting for Pinkerton," she said. "It provides tremendous opportunities."
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