ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Roanoke County Public Schools is expanding the way students can gain education with a new career and technical education center.

The Roanoke County School Board says it has purchased land between Airport Road and Burlington Elementary School adjacent to Peters Creek Road for the new Roanoke County Public Schools Career & Technical Education (CTE) Center. This new facility will replace the current CTE, which houses the Burton Center for Arts & Technology (BCAT).

“This has been an exciting experience to be part of,” said Mike Altizer, chairman of the CTE Center Citizens Advisory Committee. “I want to thank the members of the committee for their hard work and their careful and thoughtful deliberations as together we searched for the right place to locate this new CTE center. The committee has learned so much and gathered a lot of information from our tours of other facilities. I also would like to thank the businesses who came and gave the committee valuable information.”

The committee helped with the site selection and toured other CTE centers across the Commonwealth to compare what other facilities have to provide “leading-edge learning opportunities”.

(Photo courtesy: Roanoke County Public Schools)

“A modern facility for our CTE center will allow us to expand our programs to better meet the needs of the business community and provide greater access to high-quality programs for our students,” said Roanoke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Ken Nicely. “The new CTE center is a significant investment in our goal to graduate Roanoke County students who are what we call ‘Opportunity Ready’ — prepared to take full advantage of career, educational, and life-fulfilling pathways to success.”

Students from across Roanoke County high schools have the opportunity to learn marketable skills at the current BCAT. This center houses a STEM Academy and other programs such as the Center for Engineering, motorsports and welding, Center for Mass Communication, culinary arts, building trades, mechatronics/robotics, health sciences, cybersecurity, and Center for Visual Arts.

“We are grateful to the CTE Center Citizens Advisory Committee for their months of work that has led to this moment,” said David Linden, chairman of the Roanoke County School Board. “The committee has carefully examined not only our current needs but also is engaging Roanoke-area businesses to re-imagine how the new center can serve as an economic development driver for the region in the future.”