The work of putting up the outside walls of the Huntsville Career and Technical Education building began last week. I have to say, it was a thing of beauty watching the construction crew hoist the huge steel frame pieces.

Thanks to voters in the Huntsville School District who passed a millage increase in 2019, CTE buildings are going up in St. Paul and Huntsville. St. Paul had a head start as its steel arrived before steel did in Huntsville.

The CTE facility in St. Paul will take about six months to complete, while the one in Huntsville will take about nine months. The building in Huntsville is being constructed off of College Street between the Elizabeth Richardson Center and the school district’s maintenance building.

Based on student surveys, St. Paul CTE will be used to teach auto body shop and certified nursing assistant classes. The Huntsville CTE will offer instruction in diesel mechanics, CNA, welding and one more area, possibly emergency response. The CNA testing also could be done locally.

A lot of students take technical courses, already, but the CTE facilities will create even more opportunities.

As we’ve reported before, Huntsville and St. Paul beginning this school year will offer students a way to do concurrent studies in technical pathways through North Arkansas College in Harrison, as well. Students can work on their technical certificates while doing the classwork at high school.

Students also will be able to work toward an associate degree at North Ark.

Students in Huntsville will be able to get concurrent credits in Diesel Mechanics, Industrial Technician and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). At St. Paul, CTE students will have pathways for auto collision and CNA. For any student leaning toward an education and career in technical fields, the CTE buildings must seem like a dream at this point. As said in the movie “Field of Dreams,” “if you build it they will come.” I think students in the future will flock to such classes.

• • •

Even though this year’s Bikes, Blues & BBQ scheduled for this week in Fayetteville was canceled, organizers have said you might still hear and see a lot of motorcycles this week.

Bikers around the country plan well in advance of when rallies are held. They’ve attended past rallies in northwest Arkansas from all over the country. Madison County always sees its share of bikers. During past years, I’ve spoken with folks from Oklahoma, Texas, Minnesota, Missouri and other states who were riding through the area.

• • •

I got a kick out of watching Lincoln football player Levi Wright last week. The senior stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 240 pounds. He also has a full, black beard that many grown men would envy.

I joked with a Lincoln School District employee that Huntsville should have requested a birth certificate on the player. The school employee laughed and said that if he had not been with the district for seven years, and seen the young man mature and grow, he would have understood the inquiry.