LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Lafayette, West Lafayette and Tippecanoe County school corporations are in talks to form a partnership to help students succeed after graduation. Plans start with buying an abandoned building across from Jefferson High School.
The Lafayette School Corporation bought the former Lafayette Life Insurance building for nearly $2 million, and another $8 million approximately will be spent on renovations to create the Greater Lafayette Career Academy.
LSC Superintendent Les Huddle said the plan is to help enhance career education, mentoring and job placement for Greater Lafayette high school students.
“It’s just a way to collaborate and combine resources for a great opportunity for kids,” said Huddle
West Lafayette Community School Corporation and Tippecanoe School Corporation are in talks with LSC officials about making the career academy a collaboration.
TSC Superintendent Scott Hanback said “this is an amazing opportunity.”
“I’m so excited for not only Lafayette School Corporation, but this community,” said Hanback. “This academy would provide expanded opportunities for our students that might not otherwise be feasible inside our current buildings.”
Huddle said, “This building can certainly hold 500, 600, 700 students.”
With nearly 94,000 square feet of space, Hanback said this can create more opportunities after graduation.
“Whether that’s college, whether it’s military, workforce — whatever the case may be,” he said.
Huddle said the academy already has instructors in the high school.
“It may just mean just transferring them to this facility once we get it remodeled,” he said.
A community forum will be held for suggestions from local businesses, manufacturers and citizens. Huddle said the corporation is still looking for help and to learn from other career centers.
“We know that there are jobs in our county right now that … some of our businesses and manufacturers are having a difficult time filling, and we hope we can produce some quality employees for those here in the future,” said Huddle.
The academy is expected to open in 2020.