As a part of the 2016 school bond, Sam Barlow High School will undergo a major renovation. That renovation includes what Principal Bruce Schmidt calls “a game-changing” investment in Barlow’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) facilities.

CTE programming prepares students for a wide range of high-wage and high-skill careers by providing hands-on access to state-of-the-art technology. Barlow’s renovations call for completely renovated and enlarged wood and metal shops, with additional classrooms attached to the labs. The space will also receive a new roof (the current shop building uses buckets to collect rainwater), improved ADA access, and increased student access to CAD programming and 3D printers.

Barlow’s new maker space will include 3D printers and opportunities for students to learn CAD programming, similar to those featured at the University of Oregon’s Price Science Commons facility, pictured here.
Photo by Christian Columbres

“It’s going to completely change the experience for students,” declared Principal Bruce Schmidt. ‘It will completely change the way we do business here. The new CTE space will change how the community sees us and sees our programming, and how students see our school.”

Interest and investment in CTE programming has grown across the state, as education advocates work to bolster graduation rates and prepare outgoing students with the technical skills they need to succeed in our changing workplace. By providing students state-of-the-art access to CAD programming and engineering labs, Gresham-Barlow School District is investing in the economic prospects of our community’s students.

Renderings of new Makerspace opening at Sam Barlow HS – Image Courtesy Opsis Architecture

According to John Abel, the construction manager for the project, the designs for the CTE classrooms were guided with significant input. Barlow’s staff, students, parents, and the broader community were all involved.

“Barlow is a tight knit community; they’ve been involved every step of the way,” said Abel.

“I think it’s the first time in a long time that we’ve been able to think big and actually see something come from that. The process of going from a series of ideas to renderings is mind-blowing,” said Principal Schmidt.

“I’m thankful that our community has invested in all of our schools. This will have a huge payoff. It will have visibly positive impacts on the community.”

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