The school board has secured the $2 million needed for the infrastructure, demolition, furnishings and technology, according to director of learning Bonnie Laugerman, but the school is currently fundraising $500,000 for equipment.
As of mid-April when the latest figures were announced, the school had collected $125,000 from business partners. The goal is to eventually raise a total of $1 million for new equipment, but only half is needed by the start of the school year.
The new manufacturing and engineering space will consist of two engineering labs, a manufacturing lab, an innovation lab and a design center. Presently, the school has a woodworking area, a small engines area, a seldom-used metalworking area, and outdated equipment, Laugerman said.
Demolition on the new learning centers is scheduled to begin June 1. Milwaukee-based Eppstein Uhen is the architectural firm, and Miron Construction, also of Milwaukee, is the construction management firm.
“We want to be more responsive to the economic need and to fill the workforce shortage gap,” Laugerman said. “We want to broaden our kids’ experiences and to give them a more purposeful look at their opportunities.”
Along those lines, Arrowhead High School is also offering two new manufacturing and engineering courses this fall. The first, Instruction to Engineering and Manufacturing, is a revamped course that provides more hands-on learning. The second is a completely new course called Manufacturing and Engineering with Materials. The materials will consist of metals, woods, plastics and composites.
“The simple fact is that Waukesha County manufacturing companies are clamoring to fill jobs that lead to well-paying and satisfying careers in manufacturing,” said superintendent Craig Jefson. “As in many other school districts, however, our students routinely discount manufacturing opportunities, including those that provide great pay and career path prospects, because of outdated perceptions that manufacturing is dirty, unsafe, and not lucrative. We need to change this perception and do a better job of introducing manufacturing as a safe and well-paying career path for our students.”
Those interested in contributing to the fundraising effort may contact Laugerman at (262) 369-3611 ext. 4204 or firstname.lastname@example.org.