Precision machining lab one step closer to reality for Danville high school

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DANVILLE (WSLS 10) - Danville City Council is expected Thursday night to issue nearly $2 million in bonds for a new precision machining lab at George Washington High School.

Initially though, council members were skeptical about the request to use the money for the lab.

Danville City Schools Superintendent Dr. Stanley Jones said  this lab will help better prepare students to get jobs, specifically jobs in Southside.

The lab will teach students how to use software and other digital tools in factories.

Jones said the need for these jobs is expanding in Southside and around the world. But, he also emphasizes that this is just one component of the school's career and technical program and the school district is not singling out precision machining as the only type of career and technical education to offer.

As for the controversy surrounding the program, when the request was initially made in May council members questioned whether there would be enough students interested in the program.

Jones said the class can only have 20 students enrolled at a time and there are about 6,000 students in the district, so he is confident there will be plenty of interest.

"We want to make sure our students are going to be able to compete globally, as well as locally with their peers," Dr. Jones said.

He continued, "So, for us, it's the right thing to do. I think the most important thing for people to remember is, again, it's just one component."

He added that the district was going to spend money to expand the career and technical program no matter what, so a precision machining lab was the most logical choice.

The goal is to begin work on the lab in January and have it ready by the start of the 2017 school year.

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