SPACIOUS WOOD SHOP This complete woodworking shop is one of the spacious work areas in the new Career Technical Education building at San Benito High School.

The San Benito High School District on Tuesday, Nov. 7 held a ceremonial grand opening for the new, 38,380-square-foot Career Technical Education (CTE) building on the south side of campus. The event attracted an estimated 200 guests, including local educators, elected officials, the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors’ Bureau, the San Benito County Farm Bureau, and other community members.

The building, funded by the voter-approved bond Measure U, includes auto, metal, wood and agriculture shops along with an ag science lab, floral classroom, three other classrooms and a computer lab.

A ceremonial ribbon-cutting was held at 5:30 p.m. outside the building followed by a tri-tip barbecue provided by the Ag Boosters. The ribbon was held by AEDIS Architects on one end and Blach Construction on the other, with the SBHS District Board of Trustees and CTE teachers in the middle. Board President Steve Delay held the ceremonial scissors to signify the opening of the building.

In his speech at the event, Superintendent Shawn Tennenbaum said, “What started out as a dream of many has become a reality for our students, staff, and greater school community.” He added that “it is often said that it takes a village to raise a child, but in our case it truly takes a community to see such a magnificent project to fruition.”

Tennenbaum praised the school’s CTE teachers by saying that through their guidance, “students have the opportunity to learn highly-technical skills that will provide them a multitude of opportunities after high school.”

SBHS metals teacher Mark Krause thanked his fellow CTE teachers and the voters of San Benito County for their support of the project. He also praised current and former administrators and board members for their commitment to education.

The building, he said, “truly was a team effort” and noted that the district is “bucking the trend” of districts diminishing or eliminating their career technical education programs.

“We can be an example to schools throughout California about what career technical education should look like.”

After the ribbon-cutting, guests were invited to mingle in the building and speak with the educators who teach there. Assemblywoman Anna Caballero’s office provided a certificate of recognition from the California State Assembly recognizing the building for “serving youth in an innovative environment of learning and professional development

The San Benito County Farm Bureau donated $500 to offset costs of the event and FFA students helped with parking, guiding attendees to the event and providing hors d’oeuvres.

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