Expanding Learning

<p>Plath Hall</p>

Plath Hall

Students at Perry Tech could be looking at a change in scenery over the next year.

This campus of 700 students is filled to the brim -- and the school wants to create some breathing room.

Ryder Stephenson is an instrumentation student learning about the diagnostics of machinery -- he came to Yakima from the Longview area just for the program.

"Not many places have processes like this, where you can get hands on-automated at something," said Stephenson, "It's not all just theory and bookwork, but here, you learn something in the morning and it seems like you apply it that afternoon."

Since 2006, the school says it's seen an 85% increase in student body.

However, the growth in numbers has hampered some of the classes, many instrumentation students have been split from the buildng and scattered across campus.

To fix the problem, the school is planning on expanding its campus.

School leaders are currently raising funds to construct a $7.5 million building, which will be named Plath Hall.

An area right across from the school is where the new building is expected to be built.

It would take the 200 instrumentation students spread out through the campus and put them under one roof once again.

"It also meets the need of industry," said school president Christine Cote, "Our programs are in demand, and we have industry waiting to hire our students."

More demand could also mean more students coming to Perry Tech.

"The way the world is turning to a more automated type of life, it only makes sense that, this program especially, would grow exponentially," said Stephenson.

Perry Tech says it's already raised half of the funds needed to construct Plath Hall, they will have a groundbreaking next fall -- construction will take about a year.