LAUDERDALE CO., Ala. – The Lauderdale County school system has been working to create a new career technical center for half a decade. Thanks to a new $5 million grant from the Lauderdale County Commission, that plan is one step closer to becoming a reality.

The 120,000 square foot institute has been in development since 2017.

“We wanted them [the Commission] to be a stakeholder in this, so they graciously agreed to provide us with a total of $5 million dollars, which is spread out over 20 years,” said Ronnie Owens, president of the Lauderdale County Board of Education.

The institute will allow students to learn different trades, earn certifications, and even dual enroll with the University of North Alabama and Northwest-Shoals Community College. Owens told News 19 that they plan to use this building for decades.

“We tried to have the vision to look out 10, 15, maybe even 30 to 40 years to see what we’re going to need in this county,” Owens stated.

The center will allow students to learn many skilled trades including plumping, electrician work, carpentry, culinary arts and robotics. It is not clear how long it will take to build the institute.