A healthcare classroom lab is closer to opening at Sequoyah High School now that a contractor has been selected to build the project this summer.

The Cherokee County School Board selected a $276,000 proposal from Albion Scaccia Enterprises LLC for the construction of the lab, which is scheduled to take place between June and August in time for students to use it next fall semester.

The lab will be created using existing space in the Sequoyah East building on campus to respond to student demand for a healthcare science career pathway at Sequoyah. So far, there are healthcare-related career pathways at Cherokee High School, Creekview High School, Etowah High School and River Ridge High School.

The lab in the new healthcare space will replicate a medical facility, with equipment including patient beds, said Cherokee County School District spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby.

The healthcare science pathway is a three-year program that includes a patient care fundamentals class, which qualifies students to take the state certified nursing assistant license exam.

Specialized programs that are specific to different high schools include patient care, allied health and sports medicine. All programs involve clinical site work -locations include nursing homes, assisted living facilities, physicians’ offices, school nurse’s clinics, chiropractic offices and physical therapy facilities. At all schools that have the healthcare science pathway, students have the opportunity to intern at Northside Hospital Cherokee.

The project is paid for from taxes collected in the latest voter-approved Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.

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Shannon is a reporter covering education, city governments, crime, features, religion and other local news. She is a graduate of Young Harris College and currently lives in unincorporated Woodstock.

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