By Janeal Gamberg
Special to The Ely Times
To celebrate the opening of the new buildings, members of the community gathered at White Pine High School to barbecue, socialize and tour the new facilities.
In 2008, community members voted for a bond initiative that would provide $7 million in funding to schools for cosmetic, structural and educational improvements. In addition to the grant, a donation of $2.5 million was made by the Pennington Foundation, which allowed the county to construct the high schools new gymnasium, as well as its new Regional Health Occupation Center.
Retired Superintendent Bob Dolezal stated the new Health Occupation addition is “not just for high school students, but health occupation specialists and their communities.”
The District hopes that schools such as Eureka, Lund, Baker, Lincoln and even Elko will come to participate in the medical wings hospital training and educational programs.
Matt Walker, CEO of William Bee Ririe Hospital, will be working with the school to coordinate free, in-depth introductory classes for students.
These classes will allow students to explore career opportunities ranging anywhere from basic CNA skills to Medical Assistance and Radiology.
Superintendent Adam Young stated that in the last 13 years, 14 students a year graduate with a Certified Nurses Asssistants license; of those students, 63 percent go on to continue careers in the medical field.
Young went on to say that the idea is to “help students find something they connect with and develop their college and career ready skills.”
Young also acknowledged Bailey Moore, a White Pine High School graduate, who will be running the Health Science program. With special thanks to Core Construction, LCA 12Achitects, the Pennington Foundation and supporting members of the community such as the Ely City Council, County Commissioners, and William Bee Rire Hospital.
The projects hope is to provide opportunities for students to purse their passions; which extends not only to their future careers, but their athletics as well.
The school district and its partners have worked to create a campus that helps support both.
With the new gym providing a space for students to participate in extra-curricular activities such as wrestling, dance and cheer; the medical wing looks to encourage students to reach goals and spark interests.
As Young’s closing statement said “there is no place I’d rather be than a community where education of students is the most important thing.”