On Thursday, December 7, 2017, a groundbreaking ceremony took place at Dobyns-Bennett High School to launch construction of the Regional Science and Technology Center (RSTC), an initiative that will forever change the face of education in Kingsport. The center will include over 70,000 square feet of lab and classroom space that will provide the environment necessary for high levels of academic learning. It’s a setting necessary to most fully prepare students for the next generation of 21st century careers.
This week in the Saturday Six, we take a look at the RSTC, what to expect during the construction period, and how it will impact and differentiate Kingsport when it comes to science and technology education!
- At its core, the mission of the RSTC is to create a culture that inspires innovation through science and technology. There are five key academic goals that will frame this work: Supporting scientific inquiry and discovery; Fostering creativity and problem solving; Offering meaningful career opportunities; Providing application-based experiences through an integrated curriculum, and; Utilizing the power and flexibility of technology.
- Visioning work on the Regional Science and Technology Center began in May 2016 with a session involving D-B staff members and focusing on design and programming. Key work since that time has included conceptual design and programming (July 2016), schematic design (August/September 2016), and design development (November 2016).
- What will be in the RSTC? The new three-story facility, located on the front of Dobyns-Bennett (facing Ft. Henry Dr.), will house 18 science and technology labs, six student work spaces, two teacher work spaces, one TEAL (Technology Enhanced Active Learning) lab, one large research lab, four small research labs, a student cafe, and an administrative office.
- When complete, the new facility will raise the capacity at D-B to support 2,500 students at 85% utilization.
- Physical construction on the new facility will begin during the 2017 Winter Break, with expected completion by Spring Break 2019. With construction taking place during normal school operations over the next 15 months, adjustments to parking, traffic, and visitor entry will be necessary. Full details are being distributed to parents and the community in the coming days.
- How can you stay up to date on the progress of the RSTC? Regular updates will be communicated to the Kingsport community throughout construction and will be posted on a dedicated KCS website. Additional updates will be provided on a new RSTC Twitter account @KCS_RSTC. Follow along for all the latest updates!
Its an exciting time for D-B, KCS, and all of Kingsport. The Regional Science and Technology Center will be a game-changer for Kingsport students!
Next week in the Saturday Six: We’ll close out first semester by looking back at some of the highlights of what has taken place throughout KCS in the first half of the year.