Open house dedicates new school CTE addition

PHOTO BY CRYSTAL PUGSLEY/PLAINSMAN A contingent of school officials, Chamber Ambassadors, and Governor Kristi Noem, held a ribbon cutting dedicating the new CTE addition Thursday afternoon.

Huron School District welcomed a large crowd to its Career & Technical Education open house and ribbon cutting Thursday afternoon.

Governor Kristi Noem, guest speaker, told the group that she often points to the innovation and progress of the local district when she visits schools across the state.

“We have only about 600 South Dakotans on unemployment but there are 27,000 open jobs,” Noem said. “Our population is growing nine times faster than the national average, and our student outcomes through the pandemic are tops in the nation.”

Building Trades director Matt Busch and John Halbkat, buildings and grounds director, recalled the process that brought the vision of creating an addition to the CTE to reality.

“Without the support of taxpayers the school could not do things like this,” Halbkat said. “We had 19 sub-contractors working on this project.

“When I started the vision was small,” he added. “As the grants came in, Mr. Busch and I toured technical institutes and sat down to determine what they wanted.”

The initial thought was to construct a 52-foot wide addition, and ended up with a space 98-by-175 feet. The building features a hoist to assist building trade students to lift rafters onto  the home they are building, along with a ventilation system and large overhead doors that can open to allow the completed home to be moved out of the building at the end of the year.

“One thing Mr. Busch will notice is he will have more time to teach his students,” Halbkat added. “Students will have more hands-on time by bringing this inside.

“Our goal is to give students construction background, and if they choose to go on, they can go on to work in the elements outside if they choose to,” he said.