Butler Tech to meet increased demand for more programs

WEST CHESTER TWP. — One of southwest Ohio’s most innovative high school medical programs is about to get bigger thanks to new state funding of $7.2 million.

Butler Tech’s Bioscience Center, which trains high school juniors and seniors for careers in healthcare and related medical fields, was one of the state’s career school programs awarded in a just-announced series of grants.

“The quality of your programs created the demand for expansion,” said Jon Graft, superintendent of Butler Tech, which serves students from 10 Butler County public school systems as well as Northwest Schools in northern Hamilton County.

“This grant will provide us the opportunity to continue to transform lives in our community,” said Graft, who also noted in a staff announcement the chronic problem of recent years of not having enough classroom space for all area students — both teens and adults — who apply for enrollment.

“The grant funds will significantly benefit Butler Tech students by offering increased opportunities, resources, and support for success in high-demand healthcare pathways,” he said of the Bioscience Center’s planned building expansion by another 25,000 square feet on its West Chester Twp. campus overlooking the Interstate 75 and Cincinnati-Dayton Road interchange.

“This expansion project directly addresses the growing community need, as a steady increase in student applications necessitates increased capacity to provide quality career education for aspiring healthcare workers. Plus, through partnerships with local hospitals and higher education institutions, the expansion project will provide a high-quality space for students to earn in-demand credentials to become healthcare professionals.”

This $7.2 million grant is part of the $200 million commitment from the most recent Ohio biennial budget passed by the Ohio Legislature in the summer.

Butler Tech officials said they will commit an additional $4.9 million to the expansion project, which currently has no projected start or completion date, said school officials.

On Friday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that 35 Ohio schools will receive grants totaling almost $200 million through the Career Technical Construction Program, helping expand education and training facilities to serve more students.

“Ohio is on the rise,” stated DeWine in the grant announcement. “We have 54 companies coming to or expanding their operations into Ohio, creating thousands of jobs. We need all hands on deck to support this economic growth, and that’s why it’s vital that we help our career centers expand.”

Butler Tech was one of 59 applicants for the Career Technical Construction Program with 35 career schools being chosen.

The school offers high school students classes in biomedical science, dental assisting, exercise science and sports medicine science among other programs.

This will be the second expansion of the Bioscience Center building since the original $16 million two-story building opened in 2016.

In 2020, a $1.8 million expansion was opened to students providing additional classroom and lab spaces.

The coming expansion will also be an extension of the existing building, said Butler Tech officials.

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