TYLER (KYTX) - The possibility of a career and technology center for high school students within Tyler ISD is gaining support.
The proposed center is part of the $160.5 million dollar school bond on the May ballot.
"I'm absolutely , absolutely 100 percent in support of this bond, especially for the career and technology center," said Phil Burks, President of The Genesis Group.
Phil Burks considers himself the poster child for technology education.
He's now President of "The Genesis Group", a Tyler-based software company with 50 employees.
Burks said he's a product of a career and technology school.
"It set foundations for me that I think are extremely important for our kids to have and understand," said Burks.
Tyler school leaders want this 147,000 square-foot career and technology center in place by Fall of 2015.
It will house 400 students at a cost of $33.5 million dollars.
"This is not a building that is being constructed for kids that really don't have a place to go. This is truly for the best and brightest," said Bob Westbrook, President of W.R. Ventures Inc.
That's why Tyler business leader Bob Westbrook is putting his name behind the proposal.
But before this center can become reality, a $160.5 million dollar school bond will have to pass this weekend.
"When people come in from out of town, they say wow, this is a nice school, but they got to look deeper," said Bob Brewer.
Bob Brewer has already voted against the school bond.
He's not necessarily against the CTE center, but he is against investing more money in a school system that, he said, is performing below standards.
"Our performance on education has just been really bad," said Brewer.
But, these business leaders said this school is a must, if we want our community to grow economically.
"It's no longer a strong back that is only needed, but you also need the technology skills in order to operate the new software that we're bringing on board to basically run our business," said Faye Pettigrew, Tyler Pipe HR Manager.
Businesses that now will be in the hands of a new generation.
"We're talking about people that could own their own business. Talk about impacting your local community," added Westbrook.