Construction continues Tuesday on the new Killeen Independent School District Career Center at the intersection of Trimmier and Stagecoach roads in Killeen. The center is expected to house approximately 1,400 students at full capacity and is scheduled to open in the fall.
A worker mixes a batch of spray applied fire resistive material to be applied inside the new Killeen Independent School District Career Center on Tuesday.

District preps for fall opening of career center

By Sean Wardwell

Killeen Daily Herald

Marketing was on the minds of Killeen Independent School District board members Tuesday night, as the district prepares for the opening of its new career center in the fall.

The 142-000-square-foot KISD Career Center is under construction at the corner of Trimmier and Stagecoach roads, near Patterson Middle School. Already, career center teachers said, students are lining up to take advantage of its programs.

“We’re going to have a lot of schedule changes next year,” said John Smallwood, who will teach web design and technology at the new center.

The center will serve students from all district high schools and offer nine career clusters in health science; information technology, agriculture, food and natural resources; arts, audio/visual technology and communications; transportation, distribution and logistics; architecture and construction; law, public safety, corrections and security; and manufacturing and human services.

District spokeswoman Leslie Gilmore told board members that the district is still choosing promotional items for the new center, such as clothing and lanyards for identification cards.

“When (students) go to the movies or go out, they’ll have a T-shirt that says ‘career center,'” she said, adding the district will hold four meetings about the center in the future with students and parents.

Alison Belliveau is the district’s coordinator for career and technical education, and will oversee the center. Formerly a teacher at Shoemaker High School, Belliveau said she’s excited about the opportunities the center will give students.

“I left the district for four years and came back because of this new center,” she said. “I was in these programs. I was in the (agriculture) program. The building is phenomenal and the teachers are awesome.”

No action was taken at the meeting on the center, as this was a chance for board members to get to know who will be teaching there. Board Chair Ron Rainosek said its future will be up to these teachers.

“This has been a long time coming, and we’re going to depend on you to make this pop,” he said.

The building will include 59 classrooms with capacity for 1,400 students. It was part of a $26 million project that included the construction of the adjacent Pathways campus, which opened in August.