School districts awarded $75 million to upgrade local area vocational education centers

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Graphic reading: KDE News, Kentucky Department of Education

In another significant step forward in his Better Kentucky Plan creating jobs and opportunities in every corner of the commonwealth, Gov. Andy Beshear announced $75 million has been approved to go to Kentucky school districts to fund renovation projects at local area vocational education centers (LAVEC).

The Kentucky School Facilities Construction Commission Board approved the grant funding Sept. 1.

“Our vocational programs are essential – providing education for our students, opportunities for our workers and a skilled workforce for our businesses to move our communities forward and continue our economic momentum,” said Beshear. “This funding will ensure that Kentucky workers have access to state-of-the art vocational facilities to learn the skills and trades they need to compete in our workforce.”

On Sept. 1, the construction commission board voted to offer grants to nine school districts that operate LAVEC programs. Funding can be used to cover the cost of renovations, which include updating, expanding, repairing, replacing or rebuilding a structure.

The following school districts have been approved for LAVEC grants by the commission. The districts will allocate funds to the projects for which they applied.

  • Magoffin County – $4,369,318
  • Christian County – $10,000,000
  • Bardstown Independent – $10,000,000
  • Johnson County – $10,000,000
  • Lawrence County – $9,280,350
  • Fayette County – $10,000,000
  • Knox County – $10,000,000
  • Trigg County – $10,000,000
  • Ballard County – $68,896

The school districts chosen for funding were among nearly three dozen qualified applicants. Applications were evaluated by the commission based upon: age of current vocational education facility, financial need, county unemployment rate and LAVEC enrollment. 

“This is a unique opportunity to upgrade and improve the quality of vocational education for hundreds of Kentuckians. We have hundreds of millions worth of building and renovation requests in the queue. These General Fund dollars shortens that list and gets shovels in the ground by 2022,” said Chelsey Couch, executive director of the Kentucky School Construction Facilities Commission.

School districts submitted 32 applications with $229 million in requested financial assistance for their career and technical education centers, exceeding the $75 million in funding available through this program. The governor will be reviewing qualifying projects for potential inclusion in his upcoming recommended budget he will submit in January.

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