The new career academy building is ahead of schedule and under budget

Work on the War Eagle Career Academy being built behind Wakulla High School and funded with $20 million from Triumph Gulf Coast.


The new Career and Technical Education (CTE) building at Wakulla High School is nearing completion, and is expected to be ready for the start of school in August. Beginning to end, the entire facility took just one year to complete, which is faster than expected.

“We just got a really jam-up guy who’s runnning the show here” says Mike Barwick, Executive Director of Facilities for Wakulla county Schools, “and he got it done in a year.”
The new building, which has been constructed behind the high school, is designed to house most of the existing CTE programs at the high school, such as the Medical Academy, Engineering Academy, the Aerospace program, and Web Development, and will also create room for two new programs, Diesel Mechanics and Agriculture/Forestry. Programs such as Welding and Carpentry are going to stay in their current classrooms for now, until the rest of the planned construction on the front side of the building has been completed.
This construction cost just over $20 million, but the school system didn’t have to fund most of it, as a grant from Triumph Gulf Coast covered most of the construction cost. The School Board had to cover $1 million of the cost up front, and has committed to spending another $18 million on the CTE programs at the high school from now until the grant period ends on Dec. 31, 2033.
Additionally, the grant requires students at Wakulla High to receive a total of 7,450 certificates from the various programs before the end of the grant period.
“We anticipate our students will earn 700-800 certifications per year,” said Priscilla Colvin, executive director of academics for Wakulla County Schools.
The rooms will be outfitted with state of the art equipment through a Workforce Development Capitalization Incentive Grant, to make sure the students have everything they need to succeed.
Most notably, the Phlebotomy program, which teaches students how to effectively draw blood in a medical setting, will be getting a room with partitioned areas that can be used to perform blood draws. The floors in those areas will be the same material that’s used in hospitals to make cleaning up spilled blood much easier, and will allow the students to practice drawing blood in a more professional setting.
As well as being fitted with new furniture and equipment, the classrooms in the new building are much larger than those that many of the programs are housed in now. Programs such as Aerospace and the Engineering Academy are getting much more spacious classrooms and storage areas, so that they aren’t nearly as cramped, and have much more freedom with what the classes can do.
“Each one of these rooms is almost bigger than any other room that exists over there” – referring to the old high school, said Rick Myhre, Director of Instructional Data for Wakulla County Schools. “If we just had one of these over there, it would be a game changer, and there’s so many of them.”
The CTE building is also going to have an outdoor classroom area, which is available for use to any class who needs it.
This is the first new building to be constructed, but the construction won’t stop there.
The oldest wing of the high school, which currently houses the front offices, as well as the English Hallway, ROTC program, Auditorium, and Gym, is planned to be demolished in the next couple of years, to be replaced with a larger building that will better accommodate a growing population of students.