The aviation population has been diminishing over the years and is in desperate need for fresh faces to replenish the void left by retiring pilots and mechanics. Since 2016, Joseph Charter School has been preparing students interested in aerospace to take flight in its New Heights Aviation Program. Students develop important skills for aeronautics both in the classroom and through hands-on experiments and construction of aircraft. They also are encouraged to develop skills that are necessary to be successful in the field such as communications, logistics, and thinking outside of the box.
Construction of the new Career and Technical Education (CTE) Building at Joseph Charter School began in early April. The building will serve as the new home to Joseph New Heights Aviation. Inside, there will be classrooms designated for CTE learning that will help propel Joseph into the future of education.
A Federal Aviation Administration approved simulator will be available to students. This simulator will work both visually and physically by moving as a real airplane would. Students will also be able to get hands-on experience building aircraft in open spaces. Wallowa and Enterprise High School students and community members will be able to use the facilities by appointment.
The building is funded by a half-million-dollar Career and Technical Education grant issued in January 2018 to the Joseph New Heights Aviation program. They are receiving additional help through an American Airlines $12,000 grant. It is being constructed by Wellens Farwell and is targeted to be completed by July 31 for the 2019-2020 school year.
“The new building will allow our school district to change with future education trends and can be transformed into what our students need,” Superintendent Lance Homan explained. “The design and location will allow for all students K-12 to take advantage of CTE education and get introduced to real-world experiences.”