Henrico students renovating Regency Square into classrooms
The project is set to be complete by January.
HENRICO Co., Va. (WWBT) - Drilling drywall and learning how to wire electric cables are all part of Henrico County Public Schools’ plan to give Regency Square Mall a new purpose.
The school division is renovating a wing of the mall into classrooms for students enrolled in their adult education program.
Hundreds of students enrolled in this program will be transferred to this location once renovations are complete.
“Our adult education has been historically for students wanting to get their GED, or students who need English as a second language opportunity, but it’s also about helping these adults find that career pathway. What’s after graduation?” Director of Workforce and Career Development Mac Beaton said.
The goal is to create a comfortable learning environment for older students while boosting foot traffic, where many stores now sit vacant. What’s unique about this project is that students are behind its transformation.
“Instead of walking by and saying, ‘I went to school there.’ They’ll be able to say, ‘I helped build that space,’” Beaton said.
“Students here are learning everything from demolition skills to electrical, framing with steel studs, they’ll be learning drywall, they’ll be learning ceiling grids, flooring, pretty much anything in the construction industry they’ll have the opportunity to get exposure to,” Beaton said.
“I want to go into interior design and architecture,” twelfth grader Skye Allan said. Allan is in her second year of the carpentry program.
She says this hands-on experience is far better than reading from a textbook.
“I like that we’re actually getting the full experience. We’re working with different trades. This is my first time working on a construction site. We aren’t really offered that in the classroom,” Allan said.
Beaton says students who participate will earn class credit.
“It’s interesting because they don’t view this as school; they view this as work, which makes it more powerful,” Beaton said.
Beaton says the project is set to be complete by this upcoming January.
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