$2 million pledged for new career center in Kansas City


The Platte County School District is considering replacing the Northland Career Center with a new, state-of-the-art, $60 million Northland Workforce Development Center. The school district is in the middle of a fundraising campaign to build a new center. Here’s a rendering of what the new 145,000 square foot facility will look like.

Northalund Career Center

Hunt Midwest has pledged up to $2 million to the Platt County School District to build a new $60 million career and technical school in Northland, Kansas City.

In October, the district launched a capital fundraising campaign for the new Northland Workforce Development Center. This will help address the shortage of qualified workers in trade and skilled jobs throughout the Kansas City area.

The pledge from Hunt Midwest is the first private donation since Missouri allocated $30 million for the center in its fiscal 2023 budget.

Pratt County School District Superintendent Jay Harris said in a news release:

The new center will replace the district’s Northland Career Center, which attracts approximately 500 students from 16 high schools in Clay and Platte counties. We offer training in skilled professions such as construction, heating and cooling, robotics, welding, health sciences, and culinary arts.

The current center was built in 1979 and expanded beyond the Platte City campus. Hundreds of eligible students have been denied admission over the past three years, and more students are on the waiting list for the center’s programs than are currently enrolled.

The new state-of-the-art facility will be centrally located in both Clay and Pratt Counties near Missouri 152. More than twice the size of his current campus, it’s equipped to more closely simulate the work environment students will face upon graduation. .

Hunt Midwest, which announced plans in May to develop the 3,300-acre KCI29 Logistics Park near Kansas City International Airport, is donating 10 cents per square foot of building space at the megasite to Northland Labor for each industrial facility that opens. I plan to donate to the Power Development Center. Up to $2 million total.

“We already believed in the work of the Northland Career Center. When we saw they had received $30 million in funding from the state for their new center, we immediately connected with district leaders. We sat down and figured out what it would take to put those dollars to good use, said Aaron Schmidt, vice president of development and construction at Hunt Midwest, in a news release.

The company also partners with districts to offer more internships to heating and air conditioning students at the SubTropolis underground business complex, where nearly 500 HVAC units require regular maintenance.

The district hopes the new Career Center will attract more industry partnerships in the years to come.The district will continue to raise the remaining matching funds through capital campaigns throughout this year. Preliminary designs for the new campus are underway, and construction he plans to complete by the end of 2026.

This story was originally published January 5, 2023 at 8:13 am.

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Robert A. Croncleton wakes up early in the morning to bring readers the latest news on crime, transportation and dawn weather. He has been with The Star since his 1987 and now contributes data to his reporting and video editing. He studied Communications and Computers at the College of Rockhurst and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Science.

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