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Hoover dedicates Riverchase Career Connection Center

RC3 Exterior facing fire truck bays

From the Hoover Sun

August 1, 2019

(RC3) - Hundreds of people showed up this morning for the ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony for the Hoover school system’s new Riverchase Career Connection Center also known as RC3.

Superintendent Dr. Kathy Murphy speaking at dedication The 92,000-square-foot facility, formerly used as a middle school for Shelby County and later Pelham, will open to Hoover students on Aug. 8 with five career academies focused on health science, fire and emergency services, cyber innovation (computer programming, software development, software analysis, network security and network administration), food and hospitality, and skilled trades (carpentry, electrical work, welding and HVAC).

Other potential future courses in skilled trades include plumbing, heavy equipment operation and advanced manufacturing.

Hoover schools Superintendent Kathy Murphy said it’s a fabulous day in the life of the city of Hoover and school district. The best days of our lives are when we realize we are doing something that is going to live longer than we will, enhance the lives of others and perhaps profoundly impact our own lives in the future, Murphy said.

The students coming to this center one day may be the people building our homes, catering our special occasions, assisting us when our computers have been hacked, protecting our homes from fires, keeping us healthy and even saving our lives as doctors and nurses, she said.

Murphy thanked the Hoover school board and all the partners who worked together to make the facility a reality, including the city of Hoover, Alabama Department of Education, state and federal legislators, Hoover City Schools Foundation, Hoover Parent Teacher Council and Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce.

Ron Dodson, a former Hoover assistant superintendent who now is director of the career center, thanked Murphy and the school board for their courage and commitment to make the dream of a career center become a reality.

The school system paid the Pelham Board of Education $4.25 million for the school and spent $13.5 million to renovate and repurpose it, Dodson said. Another $400,000 was spent on furniture and equipment, and the center is seeking $400,000 to $500,000 in grants to cover additional equipment, he said.

The city of Hoover also donated the use of two reserve fire trucks and older firefighter turnout gear and equipment for the Fire and Emergency Services Academy.

“This was a risk, and I think it’s going to pay off big for our community and for our state,” Dodson said.

See more reporting from the Hoover Sun and the official photo album.

crowd standing at dedication ceremony