Culpeper community leaders celebrated the dedication of the state-of-the-art Culpeper Technical Education Center with a ribbon-cutting and grand tour of the $17 million facility Thursday, Aug. 5.
“From time to time there are certain days that take the cake and are special days,” said Culpeper County Schools Superintendent Anthony Brads. “This is one of those days. This is one of those days because we are part of the fulfillment of an incredible community vision.
The facility on Frank Turnage Drive Culpeper features a sleek design with modern amenities. The entrance gives way to a 428-foot-long hallway illuminated by skylights. The expansive hallway is lined with classrooms that will house automotive, building trades, cosmetology, culinary arts, cybersecurity, computer drafting, diesel, emergency medical technician, maker space, nursing and industrial maintenance courses.
Brads said the 55,000-square-foot facility is designed to be net-zero and its roof will soon have a solar array, adding CTEC will be “a model of efficiency across the commonwealth in terms of its operation and programmatically to what we’re offering to both our students and our community.
He said that despite COVID-19 and continual weather issues, the site never shut down — and stayed within budget.
“The career and technical education theme has been something that our county board of supervisors has been interested in for a great number of years,” Culpeper County Administrator John Egertson. “They have focused on that, as has the School Board. It’s safe to say it’s an entire community that has pulled together and it’s a reality that we can be proud of.
CTEC Principal Sean Summerscales noted that CTEC “will provide our students of Culpeper county the opportunity to gain real-world, authentic learning experiences, leading to industry certifications, dual enrollment credits that will help our students launch forward into their lives after high school.”
He added that during a preview tour of the facility, students were impressed with the facility.
“Our students told us they were excited,” Summerscales said. “They were eager to work toward certifications. They were hoping to gain some important life skills and they were hoping to make lifelong connections. That really resonated with me.”
Culpeper County School Board Chairman Marshall Keene said the technical education facility will provide students “the best opportunities we can here in Culpeper and to be part of that is something special.
“On behalf of the Culpeper County School Board, as your chairman, I would like to thank everyone involved in this process for making this happen,” Keene said. “It has always been our vision that our students walk out our doors onto the stage with a diploma. Today, this vision, our vision is going to be that not only does every student walk across that stage with a diploma, but they are going to have a skillset, they’re going to have a credential to be success in real life.”
Gary Deal, chairman of the Culpeper County Board of Supervisors, noted the facility will serve more than just students. “CTEC, is first and foremost, a community facility. It will serve not only our high school students but it will serve adults through programs offered by Germanna Community College,” he said. “The facility is equipped to host meetings; the facility can provide training for emergency services providers who may become fire and rescue volunteers or have public safety careers serving our community."
“It will provide workforce training that will promote economic development in our community,” he added. “I envision our building trades program someday providing affordable homes for people. The culinary program, I’m sure, will provide catering in the community. One day, we may be able to bring our vehicles in for service. The possibilities are endless for the ways in which this facility will serve Culpeper for decades to come.”