Ivey visits Fort Payne for groundbreaking

Students say the center's opening can't happen soon enough.

Posted: Sep 27, 2021 5:44 PM
Updated: Sep 27, 2021 6:09 PM

One local high school is about to give students new reasons to dream bigger and reach higher.

From video production to first aid to culinary classes, Fort Payne High School offers students a buffet of opportunity. On Monday, Gov. Kay Ivey visited Fort Payne to break ground for what some believe will become a launching pad for even more.

Gov. Kay Ivey, center, joins school officials for the groundbreaking of Fort Payne City Schools' BEAT Center.

The groundbreaking is for a new BEAT Center, or Building, Electric, Aviation and Technology.

“It will provide career pathways to students going forward so they can get really good paying jobs when they graduate,” Ivey said.

Among the pathways featured at the center will be electric car technology, something Fort Payne junior Clark McClung says he would love to have a chance to explore.

“I would love to work for Tesla,” McClung said. “... That electric car course, I mean, it’s a straight pathway to working at Tesla.”

The trade is one of several that Ivey calls essential to keeping Alabama’s work force strong.

“Getting this new center is an absolutely amazing opportunity for students coming up from the middle school to have,” McClung said.

School officials aren’t sure yet when construction will begin on the center, or when it will finish, but students say it can’t happen soon enough.

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