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West Ashley Center for Advanced Studies complete and ready for students
The West Ashley Center for Advanced Studies is set to open to students in August 2021. The $42.7 million project is a 100,000 square foot facility located at 4066 Wildcat Way. The four-acre campus is adjacent to West Ashley High School.
The project was funded by a “Yes” vote of the Charleston Educational Capital Improvements Sales and Use Tax referendum of 2014.
Dale Metzger was named the principal. Staff includes 12 teachers, four support staff members, one assistant principal, a school counselor and career specialists. Students from West Ashley High School will be able to walk to the center, and students from Baptist Hill Middle High School and St. John’s High School will either be bused in or drive their personal vehicles.
The center will offer the following programs:
- Media Technology
- PLTW Biomedical Sciences
- Health Science Technology
- Sports Medicine
- Computer Service and Repair
- Networking Fundamentals
- Cybersecurity Fundamentals
- PLTW Pre-Engineering
- Mechatronics Integrated Technologies
- Welding Technology
- Automotive Technology
“The West Ashley Center for Advanced Studies is a dynamic, state-of-the-art facility that will serve the students of West Ashley, St. John’s, and Baptist Hill,” said Metzger. “Our goal is that every student will earn career and/or college readiness certification. Students will leave here with training and industry certifications in hand, which will enable them to enter directly into the workforce, or to enter institutions of higher learning better prepared for the rigors of college-level coursework, and a better understanding of their future career goals.”
The first-floor entrance boasts a café and sitting area, complete with a lecture hall. Designed like an institute of higher learning, most spaces are versatile and allow for a multitude of uses. Each floor has spaces for study halls, collaboration zones, conference rooms, and maker spaces. The work bays for welding, mechatronics, and automotive are adjacent to the physical classrooms and observation windows look down into the bays from the second floor. Similarly, a full production set and studio are adjacent to TV and audio suites and classrooms. A full medical lab features classrooms and opportunities for hands-on learning through simulation.
“We’ve worked to develop business partnerships within local industry to ensure our certified students will be eligible for the high-paying jobs of the future within their companies,” Metzger added.
The construction management team is Cumming, Project Manager is Bobby Bryant, Site Manager is Mike Risteski, Architect is SGA/Little, and the General Contractor is Contract Construction.