Dedication and grand opening of new High Tech Center is today

The $5 million Jim Randolph High Tech Center, which blends high school and college classes to bring Carson City students into the information age, will be dedicated at 4 p.m. today.

The center, on the Carson High School campus at Saliman and Robinson streets, opened at the beginning of the school year. It is used by high school students until 2:30 p.m. and college students the rest of the day.

Following the dedication ceremony, tours will be offered until 6 p.m.

Members of the Carson City School Board voted earlier this month to name the center after Randolph, the college's president from July 1996 to November 1998. He was instrumental in construction of the center, which was funded by the 1997 Legislature and built last year.

Randolph left Carson to become vice chancellor for finance and planning for the University and Community College System of Nevada in Las Vegas. He died of cancer in Las Vegas on Jan. 6, at the age of 58.

The 30,000-square-foot center houses computer labs dedicated to World Wide Web page development, graphics and other computer disciplines, wrapped around a hub of computer groups or "pods" that are used by other academic classes daily, center coordinator Vaughn Spofford explained Tuesday.

"Teachers include periods for using these central computer pods in their lesson plans, then bring their students in for that portion of their courses," he said.

English teacher Joe Thornburg had his class researching careers in one pod Tuesday.

"They had three objectives. They had to research the the history of a job, the basics of the skills needed for it and and a major issue of the job - whether there are current issues associated with that type of employment," Thornburg said. "They're using sites like the job board or Ask Jeeves search engine. They also took tests of their interests and skills, to see how those matched up with potential employment opportunities."

Marie Bellard teaches classes in Internet usage and Web page design. She said the fall semester Introduction to Internet course familiarized students with basic Internet usage and Web page design. The spring course is digging deeper into design, with students learning to write more complicated HyperText Markup Language code and to include graphics and Java code in their pages.

"They've helped to create and maintain the high school Web site (," Bellard said.

"Each teacher has a page and they can give us their assignments lists to post, for instance.

"We're also planning to provide a link where the video classes will be able to post their video clips. Eventually, another possibility is a virtual tour of the high school."

Because of the joint operating agreement with the college, students who pass those two courses will have six college credits and will only have paid a $10 lab fee for each course, she said.

Spofford said the center also has 11 academic classrooms, occupied by teachers of regular curriculum courses who wanted to incorporate significant use of computers in their teaching. The teachers are from the science, mathematics, English and history department, he said.

So far this year, he said, about half of Carson High's teachers have used time, he said.


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