CAVALIER, ND – The community of Cavalier has pledged $ 1.6 million for a project that funders say will establish a satellite location of the Grafton-based North Valley Career and Technology Center at Cavalier Public Schools.
If built, the project will add four new classrooms and a greenhouse to the school, and will be a place where students from Cavalier public schools and neighboring school districts can have hands-on learning experiences in technical areas. .
Within two weeks, the Vocational and Technical Education (CTE) fundraising committee exceeded its goal of raising $ 1,305,500 in pledges for the project. Including the contribution from Cavalier Public Schools, the total money pledged for the project is over $ 2 million.
The fundraising committee consisted of Cavalier Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Manley, School Board Member Lizzie Crowston, School Board and City Council Member Tom Beard and Cavalier Mayor Lacey Hinkle.
As the fundraising deadline approached December 22, pledges were arriving quickly.
“As a committee we have been overwhelmed with the interest in helping workforce development and we are so happy to have the opportunity to bring this forward,” said Crowston.
The opportunity to build a North Valley satellite site at Cavalier Public Schools is made possible through a grant from the State of North Dakota called the Career and Technical Education Capital Projects Grant. The objective of the grant is to increase access to vocational and technological training throughout the state. Applications must be submitted by December 31.
The grant is funded by the Federal Coronavirus Investment Projects Fund and the Federal State Fiscal Stimulus Fund. Between the two sources of funding, the state has $ 88 million for grants ranging from $ 500,000 to $ 10,000,000. Grants awarded must be 1: 1 from sources such as private contributions, school funds, or emergency relief grants for elementary and secondary schools (referred to as ESSERs). To obtain a grant, plans must be ready to go and funding secured.
The Cavalier project is part of a regional effort by the North Valley Career and Technology Center to expand CTE in northeastern North Dakota. The larger project includes the expansion of the current facility in Grafton, a new facility in Minto and the renovation of a greenhouse in Park River. The North Valley Career and Technology Center will prepare the grant application as a bundle for all locations that are part of the expansion.
The Cavalier portion of the project is estimated at $ 2,611,000. The addition of a satellite location would add four classrooms specifically for health and medical sciences, agriculture, business education and information technology. The district already has business and information technology programs, so adding a satellite location would expand those programs, while making room for agriculture, health, and medical science programs.
Crowston says the addition would provide students with hands-on learning opportunities.
“It’s really important that our ready-to-choose element allows students to take different pathways, both during their K-12 education, as well as in community and adult education,” Crowston said.
She believes the collaboration between the school and city authorities has helped fundraising efforts.
“There is a real partnership here and a desire to move forward. It’s not just a asking entity and I think that’s been very helpful, ”Crowston said.
Hinkle said engagements came from businesses and individuals, and community members saw value in workforce retention and development.
“We recently conducted studies which showed that there are over 500 jobs available within a year or two, and up to 1,700 that will be available over the next five to seven years – not just in our community only, but across the region, ”Hinkle said. “It is important for our business community to retain this workforce and to have people here to fill these jobs. “
Once grant applications are submitted by December 31, a grant review team will assess the applications and provide recommendations to the North Dakota State Council for Career and Technical Education. Applications will be approved by March 31st.