CTE expands to increase student opportunities across FISD

From Frisco ISD’s newest natatorium to the Ford Center at the Star, the district continues to invest in projects designed to benefit its students. The latest example is the Career and Technical Education Center which is undergoing an expansion seven years in the making.

Construction started in the fall of 2022 after approval from the FISD Board of Trustees, allowing more than 7,500 students to attend the center beginning the 2024-2025 school year.

“We’re adding more additional architectural labs, eSports room, and the Vet Med addition,” Crossland Construction project engineer Camry Mullens said. “We’re doing expanding that and the floral lab, as well as, two areas in this building that we’re renovating the classrooms to make them a little bit bigger.”

Beyond accommodating FISD’s growing population, the expansion allows for more space to offer CTE center programs to more students.

“I’m very excited about the CTE expansion,” securities and investments teacher Julie Barker said. “The expansion is gonna give us a better opportunity to grow all of our pathways, not just mine, and finance, but all of the different pathways.”

With the engineering program gaining more classes as well as the addition of an internship class to the pathway, it allows more students to gain real-world experience out in the industry, 

“I think these classes are really important cause they give the kids like a gist of what engineering or their STEM classes in the future could look like,” Centennial senior Sneha Maran said. “I know a lot of kids, especially before, didn’t have any idea of what engineering is and they just kind of have to like jump into it not knowing what to do.”

As for the health science pathway, the expansion allows for more nurses to teach specialized health courses, giving more students opportunities to receive workforce certifications.

“Those programs are amazing because it gets students already certified when they graduate high school to go straight into the career, the medical career that they’re looking at,” forensic science teacher Charlene Willingham said. “So they can immediately go out and start working at a nursing home or working at a hospital with the certifications they get.”

It’s gonna give us a lot more classrooms, room for current programs to grow, and then bring a few new programs

— Forrest Medcalf

Reedy senior Hannah Lamm hopes the expansion provides a wider scope of students with career-oriented experience and future readiness.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to bring some kids from outside of Frisco,” Lamm said. “I know that we have a lot of opportunities. I’ve lived in a few places other than Texas and forensics has never been offered or anything like that.”

From students to teachers, most agree that more student opportunities are bound to arise from the expansion.

“We’re excited about it,” intro to engineering design teacher Forrest Medcalf said. “It’s gonna give us a lot more classrooms, room for current programs to grow, and then bring a few new programs.”