MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Two of the 18 projects valued at about $150 million approved by the School Building Authority (SBA) and Governor Justice this week will benefit Monongalia County Schools.

The Monongalia County Technical Education Center (MTEC) will get a Science, Technology, and Math (STEM) addition and a safe school entrance valued at $4,430,544; and the Mountainview Elementary School will receive a safe school entrance valued at $887,919.

MTEC Principal Greg Dausch said the new space will allow them to provide immersive technology opportunities in the school that has the highest attendance rate in the county.

“University High School has a really good pre-engineering program that we would like to open something like that here so every Monongalia County student would have access to it,” Dausch said. “Also, an e-sports lab of sorts too, because we have an IT program that we will incorporate that with.”

The addition will be built on the back of the current MTEC facility, where the Culinary Arts and Graphic Arts Design programs are operated now.

“The plan was to add on to that area,” Dausch said. “If you take a look at the drawings, essentially, our Graphic Arts class has an exterior bay door that would be internal when and if this is complete.”

Many of the programs at MTEC have waiting lists, so students sometimes have to fall back on a second or third option, according to Dausch. This addition won’t completely end that situation, but it will relieve it somewhat.

“Now, with an additional 7,500 square feet and three programs, we’re looking at 60 to 80 students we could take in, I would say,” Dausch said.

MTEC will also have a hardened front entrance with separate entries for students and visitors. The enhanced entrances typically include a pass-through transaction window made of security glass from the waiting area to the general office.

“Another part of this whole thing is a safe school entrance for the front of our facility; that was in the SBA plan,” Dausch said. “We’re going to update our main entrance area to make it more modern and meet the current need.”

On Friday, Dausch said MTEC hosted a job fair attended by about 60 employers who came to meet with students to talk about local opportunities. Many students who graduate from MTEC with a certification in addition to a high school diploma are prepared to enter the workforce.

“They were here to meet with our students to explain the different opportunities that are out there locally for our kids,” Dausch said. “If they want to stay in Morgantown, there’s plenty of work and opportunities.”