DUNKIRK – The Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES held a community open house Wednesday showcasing their brand new P-Tech STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) College and Career Academy on East Benton Street in Dunkirk.
“Today was a wonderful day; we had our formal ribbon cutting ceremony for the Western New York P-Tech Academy, the opportunity for Dunkirk City School District, Erie2 BOCES Officials, and the public to see this school reopen,” said P-Tech Principal Stephen Ruszczyk following a tour of the site.
The P-Tech Academy is a relatively new idea in Chautauqua County. Ruszczyk said the school is for students who wouldn’t normally attend college on their own.
“It’s that kid you look at and say I wonder if, given the right place and circumstances, they could really thrive.”
The old Dunkirk City School Building has been remolded and retrofitted with brand new technology.
Ruszczyk said students receive a Chrome Book for work in the classroom and at home.
In addition to classroom skills, students can work hands-on in a CAD (Computer-Aided Design) Labs.
“Students work using state of the art computer systems and software that is found in industry and business for design and graphics purposes,” said Ruszczyk. “We have 3D printers in the building where they can transfer those ideas, print them out, and see what they look like in the real world.”
When the students complete their courses, they will be prepared to work in the STEM field graduating with a Regents Diploma and an Associates Degree.
“Our manufactures and employers in this area really need employees to fill positions that are opening up as people retire,” Ruszczyk said.