Indiana County districts asked to commit funds, students for STEM facility

Posted on Sep 25, 2015

Seven school districts in Indiana County are being asked to make a combined capital investment of $2 million to help the proposed county STEM Academy and Central Allegheny Challenger Learning Center take flight.

At this month’s school board meetings, two local districts got an accounting of what their shares of the cost would be, based on the number of students each sends to the Indiana County Technology Center.

Blairsville-Saltsburg School District received a request for $322,600, representing 16.13 percent of the total. A commitment of $172,600, or 8.63 percent, is sought from Homer-Center School District.

Eric Palmer, recently promoted to executive director of the Indiana County Technology Center, told Blairsville-Saltsburg and Homer-Center school directors in respective Sept. 16 and 17 meetings that the seven districts’ proposed investments would leverage a much larger combination of funding from other sources to pay for the combined STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) academy and Challenger Center — representing 22 cents on the dollar.

ICTC has committed $600,000 from its adult education funds toward the estimated $9 million cost of the facility, which is to be constructed as an addition to the existing ICTC building.

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