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Wando Center for Advanced Studies ready for students - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Wando Center for Advanced Studies ready for students

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MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - Crews are putting the last coat of paint on the brand new Wando Center for Advanced Studies in Mount Pleasant.

Come Monday, juniors and seniors will take classes there for the first time. The facility will be able to hold 600 students.

The three story building on the Wando campus is where students will be able to take advanced classes.

"Students who are coming here go to Wando High School now, they will walk over for classes," said school principal Lucy Beckham.

The goal is to prep them for college or a career after high school.

Beckham wants each kid to find a passion, whether it be broadcasting, advanced physics, cosmetology or gardening on the rooftops.

Right now there are packs of fertilizer on the rooftop of the center. The garden there will serve as a classroom for students.

Students studying horticulture, the practice of managing gardens will be able to get their hands dirty. Their classroom has tower gardens used to grow plants and organic food for the cafeteria.

The broadcasting studio has everything you would expect to see in a professional studio, like Live 5 News. There's a green screen for graphics, an editing room and a sound board.

Kids taking cosmetology will go through pretty intense training. Wando's principal Lucy Beckham says it's a two year program where they take 1,000 hours each year. The students will have the chance to become a licensed cosmetologist.

Becham says they also didn't forget about the Arts.

"Arts here is a very very important piece of this," said Beckham.

You may have heard of something called 'S.T.E.M.'

"Science, technology, engineering and math," said Beckham.

But now there's something new to include art.

"Throw the 'A' in and you have the word 'S.T.E.A.M.' It's a new educational buzz word. We have created quite a S.T.E.A.M. facility here," said Beckham.

The principal says their student body of about 3,900 has given them an advantage.

"We have courses and opportunities here that a small school can't offer," said Beckham.

And because of that, the plan is to eventually open up the center to students living in McClellanville and Awendaw.

Beckham said, "We want every child to graduate from high school with a viable plan, a realistic plan for what to do next and have the education and skills to do it."

A 43 million dollar career center similar to what Wando has now is on the school district's wish list for West Ashley.

In November, voters will be asked to extend the one percent sales tax to fund 34 building projects.

Wando Center for Advanced Studies features:
Science and computer labs
Childcare and health services
Biomedical science
Horticulture
Engineering
Public safety EMS technology
Automotive technology building
Greenhouse
Cosmetology
Film, multimedia and visual arts
Rooftop teaching garden

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