Students, Teachers Meet Tri Star 2.0

A future Tri Star student walks out of the building at 7655 state Route 703 after meeting her teacher and seeing the new building.
Staff Writer

Amazing, overdue, unbelievable, impressive. Those are some of the words used to describe the Tri Star 2.0 Building during the career compact’s Meet the Teacher night Tuesday. 

With classes beginning Wednesday at Tri Star, administrators wanted to open the building up to students and parents so they could get a glimpse of what was to come, find their new classrooms and handle any outstanding business before the school year began. Since they were there anyway, most people took the time to look around the rest of the building to see what other classes have.

“We’ve gotten so many compliments on the building,” said Director Tim Buschur. "The community should be happy and proud to have this in our area, now it’s our responsibility to use this building to train the kids who will be the future workforce in our area.”

Training that workforce is the responsibility of the teachers for each program, many of whom are also showing the same level of excitement as their students. Though some classrooms still have work to be done and things to put away, there is a buzz coursing through the halls of 7655 state Route 703. 

On the ground floor, construction teacher Brett McGillivary is looking forward to what they year has to offer. Entering his second year with Tri Star McGillivary is making the move from a dark shop on the back side of Celina High School to the large, open space at the new building.

With 21 juniors incoming this year, McGillivary will have plenty of young minds to shape in his construction class. In addition to the 21 juniors — which is the largest class he has heard of for Tri Star construction — 15 seniors will return from last year’s junior class. McGillivary added that he hopes the students realize the opportunities offered to them through Tri Star and through the work of career tech in general but he said he is excited to start teaching at Tri Star 2.0.

“This building is a cool thing,” he said.

Upstairs, above the main entrance, Annette Albers is still getting used to all of the space she has to teach one of the largest programs at Tri Star. With a total of about 62 students, med-prep is an in demand field and it now has room to grow.

“This is such a change from my old room and it’s awesome,” said Albers. “My classroom alone is probably three to four times bigger than my old classroom was and it’s just super awesome to have all of the Tri Star programs in one place instead of having them scattered across two counties.”

With the smaller classroom at the Denning’s Building in St. Marys, Albers and her fellow med-prep instructor Brenda Speck didn’t have enough room to do everything they wanted to teach their students. Now both have large rooms, plenty of storage and brand new equipment to work with.

As “cool” and “awesome” as it is, the work on the site is not quite finished, Buschur noted. For the first few weeks of classes, there will be some finishing touches put on areas of the building that aren’t completely done yet. He said there is more equipment needs to come in, there’s some electrical work that still needs done and some touch up on the painting that’s being finished. Then the last step will be to get the grass in. 

“People have seen that it’s well thought out and all the credit for that goes to Fanning Howey and our teachers for all the places we saw to help get ideas for what we wanted here," Buschur said. "It’s come together probably even better than we had imagined.”