Students at Butler Tech’s Bioscience Center returned to classes Thursday at a $1.8 million addition to their school.
The West Chester Twp. school, which enrolls high school students from throughout Butler County, unveiled a newly constructed, partial second-floor addition that adds 4,600 square feet of learning spaces to the medical services career building.
The second-floor addition was badly needed, said Butler Tech officials, due to the bioscience school’s fast-growing enrollment since the $16 million center opened in 2016.
“We had to move our teachers’ lounge into the boiler room,” said Principal Abbie Cook, referring to past conversions of the lounge into classroom space.
The new space “is fantastic for our students because we have grown every year and we have grown out of our space. The students have been on top of each other and with not a lot of room to stretch out,” said Cook. “With so many people in such close proximity it has been distracting.”
There are now four additional learning rooms to help accommodate the school’s enrollment of 350. When the school first opened, it enrolled 220.
“Whenever you can create such nice spaces for students it makes them feel valued and that goes a long way,” said Cook.
The bioscience high school program has proven more popular than school officials originally anticipated, driven in large part by the northern Cincinnati to Dayton, Interstate 75 corridor’s booming hospitals, health care providers and medical industries.
Part of the $1.8 million project was done through Butler Tech’s partnership with Cincinnati State via funding provided by the state, said Cook. The Bioscience Center was designed to grow, said A.J. Huff, spokeswoman for the Butler County career school system, which is one of the largest in Ohio.
The entire second floor’s upper structure was constructed to later add on additional stories throughout the top part of the building, Huff said.
The addition of a second floor over one portion of the school is the first small step of what Butler Tech officials are hoping will be even greater expansion of the school’s nine-acre campus sitting atop a hill overlooking I-75’s Cincinnati-Dayton Road interchange.
In 2019, Butler Tech officials unveiled preliminary plans for additional growth at the school’s campus and Huff said the new second-floor wing of the school “is just another step in the expansion not only at the Bioscience Center but for Butler Tech in general.”
“This adds the opportunity to reach more students and make more students career ready and college prepared,” she said.
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