Herrera Elementary construction means new learning opportunities for FUSD High School students

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The construction of a local school is providing unique learning opportunities for Fresno Unified students of all ages.

Work is well underway at Juan Felipe Herrera Elementary School and thanks to a unique labor agreement, the new site will serve much more than just its elementary students.

"It is kind of a big deal to say we're going to build a school that benefits both our current and former students," said FUSD Executive Officer of College and Career Readiness Jeremy Ward.

Thanks to the agreement, district high school students will now be able to learn construction skills from the companies involved and gain jobs in the industry.

"They have to advise our current students that are enrolled in construction related programs around career training," said Ward. "They have to come and in an essence act as a counselor."

If students complete necessary requirements, it will also give them a fast pass to a career in construction.

"Kids are going to get counseling, they're going to be able to bypass some of the training time and they're also going to be able to receive scholarship," added Ward.

Companies are also required to employ a percentage of Fresno Unified graduates.

"What we're saying now is, you're going to help our current students and you're going to be a benefit for our students and our community," said Ward.

The state of the art campus will also provide a much needed learning site for students in southeast Fresno.

"I know it's during Covid but we all know we're going to come back, but when we come back its great to have this school," added Carlos Castillo with FUSD's Curriculum and Instruction. "It will also have a dual language emersion school as well. It's something very unique in our school we've never had a program like that."

Herrera Elementary is expected to open in Fall of 2022.
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