, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

June 14, 2010

PAISD unveils auditorium, CATE building

PORT ARTHUR — Hazel Nakao has the future at her fingertips.

Nakao, a Memorial High School senior, will soon enter her second year in the schools Health Sciences course with plans to major in ultrasound technology down the road.

Her senior year will be busy as she balances her regular curriculum along with working in a hospital setting and preparing to pass the Certified Nurses Aide test.

“I’ve learned a lot of skills here that will help prepare me for when I go to the hospital,” Nakao said. “I’m very well prepared.”

The senior was one of numerous MHS students who provided tours of the school’s newest additions — the Career And Technology Education building and auditorium, on Monday.

The CATE building, with a total area of 61,500 square feet, replaces the Stilwell Technical Center which was housed in a separate location. The new facility has classes for auto collision, automotive technology, building trade shop, CISCO, dentistry, engineering CAD, hospitality, machine shop, media tech, welding shop and woodshop.

Each course has an area for class work and a separate lab area for hands-on experience.

Down the hall, Instructor Glenda Alfred showed off her new classroom digs for a course in Hospitality Services and Culinary Arts.

Industrial broilers, no-flame burners, food preparation tables, a 3-compartment sink and laundry uniform storage areas allow students a wide variety of equipment on which to study and work.

Alfred led the tour into the classroom area where text books were already in place on a shelf.

“We use a Sous Chef program,” Alfred said. “This is everything you need to know to work in a restaurant. Plus we teach students how to cook with less fat, to steam vegetables and how to cook healthy and they like it.”

In the newly opened auditorium, Director Henrietta Haynes showed off some of the facility’s attributes including plush red curtains, a “great sound system,” dressing rooms, a workshop, costume room and specialized lighting.

There have been two events so far in the auditorium thus far, beginning when the district hosted the University Scholastic League One-Act Play competition and for an academic banquet.

The CATE building and auditorium were part of a $189.5 million, three-part bond package approved by voters in 2007. The bond is funding the construction of two elementary schools as well.

The former Stilwell Technical Center will not go unused with the opening of the CATE building as the facility will be converted to the Administration and Staff Development Center.

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