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GETA-ing an upgrade

Big changes coming soon for Green Energy Technology Academy

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        Laguna Creek’s Green Energy Technology Academy’s current problem with lack of storage is about to be solved because the academy has received $4 million to construct a new building on campus.

According to Eric Johnson, GETA teacher and co-coordinator, the building will be located next to the tennis courts and construction will take from summer 2019 to August 2020.

As the number of students enrolled in GETA has increased from 120 to 170 in the last two years, GETA’s issue with space has also been growing.

“As we get farther into the school year, with all 5 classes [and] their projects, we just don’t have storage room,” Johnson says. “It becomes almost an unsafe place.”

Between the two GETA portables and shipping containers for extra storage, GETA currently has around 3,000 square feet of space. The new GETA building is going to be more than double in size. The building’s two classrooms and workshop will total approximately 7,000 square feet.

The larger space will allow GETA to support focuses on remote control (RC) projects. RC projects, such as a solar powered boat and small hydrogen fuel cell powered race cars, are used by GETA to participate in competitions.

In order to improve their RC projects, GETA is hoping to use electronics with technology that is more advanced. “We’re going to hopefully bring in another pathway, possibly an electronics pathway,” Johnson says.

Not only will the new building be larger, its design will reflect the program’s goal in supporting renewable energy. “It will satisfy the requirements to be considered a high performing school, which means it’s energy efficient,” Johnson says.

Another goal of GETA to connect students with the real world by preparing them for technical careers. “The building itself will hopefully be a learning building,” Johnson says.

“Now, people look at this building and go, ‘It’s another portable [classroom]’” Johnson says. He says once the building is completed, people will understand the meaning and importance of GETA from the appearance of the exterior because of environmentally mindful design elements such as electric charging stations for cars, wind turbines, drought tolerant plants and solar panels.

In addition to benefiting GETA, the new building will add visual interest to the school’s campus.

“This side of the campus, in the past, really has been a forgotten and neglected part, but now we got a new track, we got SCA getting their building upgraded, and we’re getting ours right there [too]. So, this is going to be beautiful.” Johnson says.

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GETA-ing an upgrade