The center is expected to be filled with adult students in three years.
By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
LORDSTOWN -- Gordon D. James Career Center won't become a white elephant after all.
The Lordstown Board of Education voted unanimously in a special Tuesday meeting to lease the building to Trumbull County Career and Technical Center for adult vocational classes.
D. Wayne McClain, TCTC interim superintendent, said the TCTC board will meet May 9 to consider the agreement calling for TCTC to pay $705,254 over four years, beginning with $153,316 July 1.
Rent will increase in annual increments to $199,311 the final year.
"We need the space," McClain said, noting the James center is expected to be filled with adult students within three years.
TCTC's 11th- and 12th- grade students will remain at TCTC's Champion Township facility, where programs are scheduled to increase, McClain explained.
"Three weeks ago, it was looking like it would become a white elephant," said Raymond Getz, superintendent of Lordstown School District, which operates the James center.
What's behind this
Vocational education for juniors and seniors comes to an end then when the school year is complete.
In operation 25 years, the center provided training to 235 students from five Trumbull County school districts. It was forced to close when Niles, the largest of the five districts, decided not to renew its contracts for its 116 students.
Lordstown, McDonald, Weathersfield and Niles will send their 11th- and 12th-grade vocational students to TCTC in the fall. Howland will send its students to the Ashtabula County Technical and Career Center.
McClain said programs to be initiated at TCTC include multimedia and computer-assisted drafting programs. The cosmetology program will be expanded.
He said TCTC will work with business and industry at the James center to retrain employees and train future workers. Emphasis will be placed on daytime classes for displaced workers.
"The sky is pretty much the limit," he said.
The interim superintendent stressed that if the equipment at the James center were not being taken over by another vocational education system, it would have to be sold because it was bought with state funds.