BOSTON — Senators Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) and Ryan C. Fattman (R-Webster) filed an amendment that was unanimously adopted by the Senate during a capital bond bill debate that authorizes state funding for the expansion of the Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School (BVT).
Every year, BVT receives between 800 to 1,000 in-district applications for 300 seats in the freshman class. BVT has long been recognized as having the lengthiest wait list of any vocational technical school in the state. The school’s inability to accept more students is driven by its current building capacity. The amendment adopted by the Senate provides $4 million to support the expansion of BVT. These state dollars also help alleviate some of the financial burdens placed on local communities to fund the project, as well as help ensure other possible funding resources remain available to support other school building projects.
“BVT possesses some of the most innovative, dynamic and successful vocational programs within our Commonwealth,” said Senator Moore. “There are many talented and motivated students in our area who have been denied admission due to the limited availability of placements. I was proud to advocate for this funding, and strongly believe that increasing the capacity at BVT will only further enhance educational opportunities in the region.”
“I am glad to see this important amendment move forward, and help the expansion of BVT to offer more students the opportunity to receive a top tier technical education,” said Senator Fattman.
“Valley Tech’s inability to accept more students is driven by the capacity limitations of its physical plant,” said Dr. Michael F. Fitzpatrick, who serves as the Superintendent-Director of BVT. “Accessing the Commonwealth’s capital bond enables the District to respond to a statistically defined need which enhances the investment of local taxpayers. Future students and their employers owe a debt of gratitude to Senators Moore and Fattman for this legislative endorsement.”
With this funding, the school would be able to add 6 new classrooms thereby increasing the number of students accepted in the annual freshman class by 50. The funding would also allow for the addition of Veterinary Assistant and Environmental Technology programs to the list of offerings.
BVT was formed in 1964 to provide career education opportunities for students in 13 communities located in the Blackstone Valley. The school system currently offers 18 vocational technical programs and a challenging academic curriculum, as well as a post-secondary program.
To continue tracking the legislation, S.2279, please visit the Legislature’s website by clicking below.