Frisco ISD is getting to work on spending some of the $691 million bond package approved by voters in November. One of the projects starting construction next year is an expansion of the Frisco ISD Career and Technical Education Center.
The center offers advanced classes in more than 30 programs to high school students district-wide where students practice real world lessons in careers like engineering, mobile app development and architectural design.
“College students have come back and said we don’t really get into this until your second year,” said high school senior Cecily Coleman. “So, you’re kind of ahead of the game.”
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The 11 seniors in her Architectural Design II class recently worked on a project to design the planned expansion of their school, starting with asking fellow students and teachers about the school’s needs.
“I really like the design we came up with,” Coleman said. “It’s really unique in the fact that all of our rooms were shaped differently, which contributed to a unique character.”
The students split into two teams to conceptualize and 3-D model their designs, which they presented to administrators after getting feedback from professional architects.
Their teacher, Clint Floyd, said the designs will offer inspiration to the professional firm the district hires.
“Most of things that we do in high school, in general, are very theoretical. In this class, we do things that are very practical and very real world,” Floyd said. “Having something that could potentially be built in reality is amazing.”
Floyd said the students have been studying architecture since their freshman year. He estimates their skill levels put them on par with college sophomores.
“They need to know what it’s going to be like in the real world early on so they can decide if this what they really want to do,” explained Floyd. “So, they don’t waste $100,000 on an education they don’t need.”
Senior Trevor Pyka said he started the classes as a freshman, unsure of what the field of study entailed. By senior year, he’s positive he’ll continue to work in architectural design.
“I think this really did solidify it,” said Pyka. “I haven’t really had any other thoughts about what I wanted to do in college. I think the closest thing would probably just be changing to a more specific type of architecture.”
Frisco ISD says 2,100 high school students per day study at the CTE. The expansion will add another 1,000 students. The district said the final list of new and expanded programs in the CTE is still being developed.