By Conor McCue

THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4) – A new school in Adams County will offer teens the chance to start training for their chosen careers as part of the high school curriculum. District leaders broke ground Tuesday on a new campus on Washington Street in Thornton between 120th and 128th Avenues.

The final product, FutureForward at Washington Square, will be a 49,500-square foot new school.

The new project is the result of Adams County voters approving more funding for career and technical education in 2016.

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When it was passed, the district found about 25% of high school students seeking career-training opportunities had been turned away since 2012 due to a lack of space at the existing Bollman campus.

That campus will also undergo a two-year-renovation.

“Brains and tax dollars. This is what happens when we all come together,” said Kathy D. Plomer, Adams 12 Five Star School Board President.

(credit: CBS)

FutureForward at Washington Square will be the second career and technical education program in the district. The program allows students to prepare for high-demand careers, such as paramedics and diesel mechanics, with hands-on learning.

“At 20 years old I’m so close to having my dream job, and it all started with my first medical science class at Bollman during my junior year of high school,” said Kaylea Beck, a 2017 grad.

Beck is now an incoming junior at Metro State with EMT training and firefighter certification.

“You need an EMT in order to be a firefighter now, so, I already had that certification so it’s not something I had to get later,” Beck said. “I was able to get that in high school.”

(credit: CBS)

Now with another campus, more teens can chart a new path like Beck. One where a career is not too far away.

“You can always change your mind, but at least this is such a low cost option and you’re doing it in high school,” Beck said. “You don’t have the worries of college and being an adult. You’re doing it in high school so it’s a great opportunity.”

Construction is expected to finish up in the fall of 2020.

Conor McCue

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