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Planning Commission approves site plan for Oxford School District’s new CTE building

Oxford School District’s project to build its own career and technical education building received the go-ahead this week.

The Oxford Planning Commission approved the school district’s site plan for the project during their January meeting on Monday.

The OSD Board of Trustees approved the project during their October meeting last year, which will offer career and technical education (CTE) courses on the campus of Oxford High School. The building will be completed by August or September.

The building will be a 13,000 square-feet single-story building that will provide classroom space, a computer lab, storage, and large work spaces for electrical, mechanical and carpentry subjects. It will be located in the northwest corner of the OHS campus.

Future plans include the addition of an automotive body shop to the east of the CTE building.

Having their own CTE building is the next step in OSD working toward offering its own CTE courses to students without having to transport them to the current Oxford Lafayette School of Applied Technology, or “The Tech,” located on Highway 7 South.

The current OLSAT agreement between OSD and the Lafayette County School District ends on June 30, 2023. A consortium between OSD and LCSD was dissolved on June 3, 2020, eliminating a joint board that governed “The Tech.”

Despite constructing their own building, Oxford school superintendent Brian Harvey said in October they still intend to use their allotted space at “The Tech.” Both districts own half of the property and the buildings located on it, though a key issue in the year-long negotiations for a new agreement, that stretched from 2019 into 2020, was how both districts would divide the space between them.

“That’s something that we’ve got to work out,” Harvey said. “I don’t know what that will look like. We still own half the building. We can’t tell you which half, but we still own half. We will continue to send kids who want to go out there with the programs that they have. But, we’ll have (CTE courses) on our campus, which I think will help.”

The cost of the new CTE building is approximately $3.1 to 3.2 million, which is down $400,000 after the building was relocated from its originally-planned location. The relocation occurred after it was discovered $400,000 to 450,000 was going to have to be spent to relocate central water lines and heating and cooling lines.