Saline County Career Technical Campus
Located at 13600 I-30 in Benton (Saline County), the Saline County Career Technical Campus (SCCTC) offers courses in automotive technology, construction, cybersecurity, health sciences, HVAC-R, industrial technology, manufacturing, medical professions-CNA, networking, and welding, in addition to allowing regional high school students to earn college credit hours during their junior and senior years. The SCCTC was created through a partnership of several school districts, Saline County municipalities, the Saline County judge, state legislators, the Saline County Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC), and Arkansas State University Three Rivers.
In 2015, Saline County leaders began considering a temporary 3/8-cent sales tax to fund the construction of a new career technical education center that offered ten pathways to high school students from the school districts of Bauxite (Saline County), Benton, Bryant (Saline County), Glen Rose (Hot Spring County), and Sheridan (Grant County). Staffing of the new CTE Center was handled by the College of the Ouachitas, while Saline County paid for its construction and maintenance. The idea behind the new CTE Center was summed up in the campaign slogan “Train Saline, Stay Saline” used by its supporters, such as Kim Hammer, then a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives. In November 2018, the tax was approved by fifty-four percent of the vote, and the county was able to sell bonds to finance the planned vocational school; the bonds amounted to about $43 million. Saline County Judge Jeff Arey said that he hoped to start building the Saline County Career and Technical Center, as it was called at the time, by the end of the summer and that he hoped to open it by 2021.
Construction on the facility began in January 2020. SCEDC executive director Lamont Cornwell highlighted the fact that its location along Mountain View Road made it accessible from I-30 near exit 114. Arey said that the purpose of the SCCTC was to help boost Saline County’s economy just as a similar school had done for Frisco, Texas, which was cited as a factor in Toyota’s decision to build its North American corporate campus in nearby Plano in 2014. The firm of Black, Corley, Owens and Hughes in Benton was chosen by a steering committee to be SCCTC’s architect. CDI Contractors won the bid for SCCTC’s construction.
Scott Kuttenkuler of ASU Three Rivers assumed the position of assistant vice chancellor for SCCTC on March 1, 2021. Governor Asa Hutchinson, along with officials from Saline County, the Arkansas State University System, and ASU Three Rivers, spoke at SCCTC’s grand opening ceremony on August 11, 2021, with classes to begin the following week. The student body at opening consisted of approximately 500 students.
On September 26, 2021, the Saline Courier reported that the SCCTC had become the first secondary career center in Arkansas to become a Leadership School member of the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3). The SCCTC sits on twenty-seven acres, with another five acres available for future expansion on its 140,000-square-foot campus.
For additional information:
Briggs, Josh. “Saline County Voters Swing, Hit Grand Slam with Issue 6.” Saline Courier, November 8, 2018, p. 4.
Perry. Sarah. “CTE Supporters Begin Push for Ballot Item.” Saline Courier, September 26, 2018, p. 1.
———. “One Step Closer—CTE campus Design Showcased.” Saline Courier, June 19, 2019, p. 1.
Saline County Career and Technical Campus. https://www.salinecounty.org/pages?id=277 (accessed March 3, 2023).
Cody Lynn Berry
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