See Student Life for more
- Spanish - Site Map - Contact
Union Student Safety HelpLine
Originally posted August 21, 2012
It’s nearly one million square feet and brand spanking new. It’s the Union Collegiate Academy and kids streamed into it for the first time on Monday as school began near 71st and Mingo. Superintendent Dr. Cathy Burden met KRMG news there before school began to get a tour of the impressive facility. See KRMG photos
“We started talking about this concept back in 2008” Dr. Burden told us. “It’s taken two bond issues and an education of the entire community to get them to buy into it” she continued.
We asked Dr. Burden what made the academy worth all that work. ”So you can have an easy transition to college” she went on. “And that’s what we’re all about, getting our kids college and career ready.”
Burden is also excited because Union students will have a chance to accumulate college credit while still at Union. “TCC instructors actually come to Union high school during the day and out students take what we call concurrent enrollment classes.” Burden explained further. “They take for instance, an English class at TCC, it counts as not only for three hours’ worth of college credit that’s transferrable but it counts for their senior English class.” Those classes will have a cost associated but Burden told us it’s remarkably low. “$12.75 per course, not per class but per course” she beamed. “Our senior class saved over 1.6 million dollars last year in college tuition based on those TCC classes.”
You can catch the extended interview with Dr. Burden here.
The new building has college style lecture rooms, environmental labs, open seating areas, outdoor classrooms and several college counseling and virtual learning areas. There are soft seating areas on almost every corner and televisions in each of them. Dr. Burden thinks the best thing about the academy is how it will keep students from being overwhelmed when they walk onto a college campus. “We have outdoor classrooms, a big tiered lecture area, all the things that will help them prepare for college and not be shocked by that experience.”
The building also has a chef and eight different areas students can get food but there is no cafeteria. Students are allowed to take their food to any area of the new building or outside and eat while they study or relax.
Abby and Mackenzie are seniors at Union and some of the first students to have class in the new wing. KRMG asked what they thought when they first saw the facility. “Wow it looks so nice, it’s big and looks kind almost like a hotel” Abby said. Her favorite part is the open feel “it gives kids more freedom and more opportunity to be on their own around the school.” Mackenzie told us she appreciates the college feel. College isn’t going to hit them as hard, they’re going to be prepared more” she noted. The bottom line “It’s a better plan for the future.”
Click here to listen as Abby and Mackenzie talk about the building.
Burden has announced that she will retire at the end of this school year. It looks like she’ll have an exciting nine months to look back on by graduation time next May.