Utica Shale Academy obtains $2.35M grant for expansion efforts

The Utica Shale Academy has obtained an estimated $2.35 million grant which will help further plans to expand its facilities in Salineville.

Superintendent Bill Watson said a total $2,356,417 was received through the Ohio Department of Development’s Governor’s Office of Appalachia as part of the Appalachia Community Grant Program and will go towards building a $4.8 million, two-story building along East Main Street. The site, which is located adjacent to the original community school in the Hutson Building at 70 E. Main St., will include nearly 5,100 square feet of space for offices, classrooms, machinery, lockers and restrooms for students working with heavy equipment operation and CNC plasma cutting. An older building was razed to make room for the structure while a separate 2,800-square-foot outdoor welding lab is undergoing work.
USA leaders learned of the grant on March 20 and plans are to have construction underway very soon.
“Part of the project needed to be shovel ready within 90 days,” Watson added. “We already razed an older building on the property and were meeting with the architect to put it out for bid. We’re hoping to have everything submitted to the state so it can be bid out in five or six weeks and break ground within three months.”
He also praised the USA team including Dean Carter Hill and grant coordinator R.B. Mehno, saying it was a joint effort to set the plan in motion. The expansion is part of the Connecting Communities through Workforce Training project to reduce the barrier of transportation and increase accessibility to quality workforce training for residents in Columbiana, Carroll, Jefferson and Mahoning counties. Officials said the project will have a transformational impact on the region by providing residents with a career pathway and an opportunity to earn a sustainable living wage, plus it also looks to eliminate generational poverty in the area.

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