Driven by consistently high demand for a future workforce with career technology education and the need to address an aging facility, Hord Coplan Macht partnered with Carroll County Public Schools in the revitalization and expansion of the Carroll County Career and Technology Center. Fourteen years ago, HCM’s key staff led a feasibility study, which recommended that the County build a new replacement facility. Three years ago, the same key staff led a follow up feasibility study to investigate more financially modest interventions and determined that the school’s programmatic goals could be achieved through revitalization and expansion of the current facility. HCM was subsequently hired to design the revitalization and expansion project with construction expected to be completed in 2024.
The current facility sits on a site adjacent to a large high school and a county-owned media center. It is a two-story facility with a main level at grade and a “walk-out basement” style ground floor level. The main level houses programs in five of the six program clusters available at the Center (Business and Retail, Engineering, Information Technology, Construction, and Health and Biosciences) and the ground floor level houses the Center’s sixth program cluster (Transportation). As part of the expansion component of the project, a three-story addition is being constructed at the north end of the existing building. Two stories will match the existing building levels with a third story above. The addition will house the Business and Retail and Health and Biosciences clusters, half of the Information Technology and Transportation clusters, along with administrative and shared use spaces. The remaining program spaces will be housed in the revitalized existing facility. Each program in the revitalized facility will be located and size-adjusted to meet the programmatic goals outlined by the school system.As a specialized instruction facility, Hord Coplan Macht has engaged with faculty, staff, school and County leadership in several rounds of program-specific design reviews to assure that the learning spaces provided are representative of industry-standard facilities. HCM challenged the instructors to consider what the programs could and should be, and not just focus on addressing issues encountered in their current facility. Careful attention is also being paid to incorporating industry partner input to be sure that the programs are being designed to best prepare students for career and college.