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NEW HIGH-TECH QUARTERS TO HELP TRAINING CENTER FULFILL ITS MISSION

SHARE NEW HIGH-TECH QUARTERS TO HELP TRAINING CENTER FULFILL ITS MISSION

The hardwood floors of the old Salt Lake Community High School building bear deep grooves, evidence of the thousands of learners who have occupied the school over the past 75 years.

This month, in a new setting, the school begins a new chapter as the Horizonte Instruction and Training Center. Movers and school officials have begun the arduous task of moving into a new location at 1234 S. Main. The move should be completed by Oct. 30.Horizonte (Spanish for "horizon") is located in the old Job Service building, which has been completely gutted and reconfigured to accommodate the unique needs of the school's student body.

The most obvious difference between the new and old quarters is the wealth of technology at Horizonte. Even the thermostats are controlled by computer.

Every classroom is equipped with a computer, telephone and wired for interactive cable. Each teacher and student will have his or her own e-mail address, which will enable teachers to critique student work and open another channel of communication between students and instructors.

"We want every student to be able to use a phone, a computer, a fax machine and e-mail. These are tools they'll need in world of work," said principal James Andersen.

The school has a 50-station computer lab, equipped with 486 system computers. The lab was funded, in part, by a $100,000 Job Training Partnership Act. It is located adjacent to the school's personal computer repair classroom, another vocational program offered by the school.

"We really want this to be a magnet to traditional students. We hope to bring those kids here for some specialized training," Andersen said.

The 100,000-square-foot building also is home to the district's Young Parents program and includes 10,000 square feet of child- care space to serve the children of Horizonte students and staff.

The school has a restaurant and offers two training programs that teach students how to run a commercial restaurant and institutional food service. Eventually, the kitchens will prepare school lunches for East, West and Highland high schools.

In total, the school will offer seven vocational and training programs at the new location.

Andersen said he wants the community to consider Horizonte "its school," scheduling public meetings and training sessions at the new complex. Andersen describes Horizonte (pronounced ore-uh-zone-tay), as a multicultural learning center.

The school's new sign reflects that sentiment, with the school name also depicted in English, Russian, Tongan, Vietnamese, Arabic and Piute.

"I hope it's open day and night. I think there's a real need for this in this part of town. It's going to make a huge difference in a lot of kids' lives. It's going to make a huge difference in a lot of adults' lives," Andersen said.

At the old location, once the Horizonte students are gone, the building, which for many years housed Horace Mann Junior High, will be transformed again.

For the 1996-97 school year, the old school will be used by West High students as their school is retrofitted for seismic safety, said Stephen Harman, district director of buildings and grounds.

In a few years, however, the structure's service to the school district may be terminated. Harman said the building has the same structural problems in terms of earthquake resistability as West.