Estill County school officials host ribbon cutting ceremony, grand opening for new tech center

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 10:37 PM EDT
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ESTILL COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - To celebrate the grand opening of the new Area Technology Center in Estill County, school officials hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday.

Attended by several community members and elected officials, including Governor Andy Beshear, the event gave school officials the opportunity to thank everyone who made getting the new facility up and running possible.

The ATC will give Estill and Powell County students the opportunity to partake in programs related to advanced manufacturing, construction, diesel mechanics, health sciences, IT, and Project Lead The Way.

“The newest, meanest, greenest, job training center for our high school students is right here in Estill County and serving Powell County,” Beshear said. “Kentucky is on a roll, this is going to make sure we have the workforce to take advantage of it.”

Superintendent Jeff Saylor said having a facility like this in the region is a big deal.

“Within the next ten years it’s estimated that there will be 50,000 jobs in those six areas within a 50-mile radius of where we’re standing right now,” Saylor said.

Saylor said trying to get the center built has been a 25-year journey, finally coming to an end.

“It’s been a stressful couple of weeks trying to get this building to the finish line but we’re just excited,” Saylor said. “It is good, it’s good that it’s finally here.”

Beshear said he was thrilled to be a part of that process.

“I’m proud we could do it in a year and a half with my administration,” Beshear said. “Now, they came to us, they needed that last piece, and it was a significant piece but we knew how transformational it could be.”

ATC Principal Coy Hall said it has been leaving his new staff anxious to get started.

“I can’t wait to get the students in here to give them the different opportunities that they’ve not had prior to this and so I’m really excited about that, seeing the kids,” Hall said.

Saylor said he hopes this accomplishment inspires the region to build more tech centers.

“When I arrived here six years ago, I made a statement and it was my vision statement that every child in Estill County has a destiny to do something great in their lives and the lives of others and it’s our responsibility to provide those opportunities,” Saylor said.

Saylor says the center will be open to the public August 4th when the semester starts.

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