By CHRISTY ARMSTRONG
The Bradley County Board of Education has approved the first
lease agreement for Partnerships in Industry and Education Innovation Center,
or PIE Center. Bradley County Schools is turning the …
The Bradley County Board of Education has approved the first lease agreement for Partnerships in Industry and Education Innovation Center, or PIE Center.
Bradley County Schools is turning the old American Uniform manufacturing facility off Parker Street into the PIE Center, which will serve as a hub for career and technical education activities.
The facility will include spaces which the school district will lease to companies and organizations which would do business there and provide part-time work opportunities to students.
“We have some good news,” said Kyle Page, principal of GOAL Academy and project manager for the PIE Center. “We have our first company ready to go.”
Chattanooga company Tranco Logistics was the first company to commit to the new space. Page said company co-owner Bruce Trantham has expressed interest in becoming “a long-term partner” with the PIE Center.
For now, the company is looking at possibly using the bulk of its space for storage, while also basing some of its operations there. Page said students could potentially work with the company in a variety of roles related to the logistics field, which presents a unique educational opportunity for students growing up in an area known for manufacturing.
“This area’s very ripe in needing workers with that,” said Page.
He added that he is working with Arlette Robinson, career and technical education supervisor for Bradley County Schools, to explore how students might be able to receive classroom instruction on logistics.
Now that the board has approved the lease agreement, school district officials can go ahead and sign the agreement with Tranco Logistics. Page said the company expects to begin “building out” its portion of the building in January of next year.
“We are going to be working with others as well,” Page said, adding several companies have expressed interest in the center and its mission.
Prior to this vote, the board gave its unanimous approval to a master lease document for the PIE Center. This document will serve as the basis of future lease agreements.
The board also approved the county school district’s calendar for the 2018-19 year.
This new calendar includes three weeklong breaks: a fall break Oct. 8-12, 2018; a Thanksgiving break Nov. 19-23, 2018; and a spring break March 11-15, 2019. Christmas break that year will be from Dec. 24, 2018 to Jan. 7, 2019.
Cash said a calendar committee and some 450 teachers voted for which calendar proposal they liked best, and this one received the majority.
Jodie Grannan, principal of Park View Elementary and a member of the committee, said this calendar mirrors the one being adopted by Cleveland City Schools.
The 2018-19 calendar is expected to be posted online at http://www.bradleyschools.org/ before the end of this week.
“We have some good news. We have our first company ready to go.” — Kyle Page
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