Chemung, New York – In order to work on innovator projects, the Chemung Elementary School is being transformed into a tech space for school districts within the Twin Tiers.
“We had an idea for an innovation center. We got a grant from A.R.C. for 150 thousand. The funding helped us get it started,” said Eric Knolles, Superintendent, Waverly Central School District.
According to Knolles, they’ve been working on this project for 3 years now.
The school district reached out to Senator Chuck Schumer to receive more financial assistance with the launch of this innovation center, as their project started to expand.
“We’re a little school district nobody knows where we are. We put it out there. They came back and said, we love the idea. The senator is interested. Can you tell us more? We had multiple meetings with them. On Thursday, I got a call at 4 p.m. saying, by the way, you in the federal budget for 2.75 Million,” said Knolles.
High School students will have access to multiple programs that include arts and engineering within the center as the classes roll out. “We will cover Art Engineering. Not just regular engineering, green energy engineering, green tech engineering, and working with battery power. Binghamton had this battery plant going right now for sustainability energy. We want our kids to be able to get in on that, to study that,” said Knolles.
The goal is to open up the innovation center for all schools in the Southern Tier. “It’s a 3 phase rollout. First, we plan to add two to four more classrooms next year. It all depends on how the money flow comes out of D.C. Phase 2 will be a business center for the kids and the communities benefit. Phase 3 is an incubator for small businesses to get their start,” said Knolles.
Their ultimate goal is to lean into tech engineering and small businesses opportunities for the community to thrive.