The Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School is adding a new career program to its course of studies this year, allowing incoming freshmen to study veterinary science.

Technical programs supervisor Nolan LeRoy said that this will be the school’s 15th technical program.

“Upper Cape Tech worked throughout the past year gaining approval from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to start up the new program,” Mr. LeRoy said.

He said that the process to become approved included having to demonstrate that there was support and a need in the local veterinary industry for the school to educate students in the field. Mr. LeRoy said that students appear to be looking forward to the opportunity.

The school received the state’s approval this past spring.

“Incoming freshmen students seem to be excited about the new program and will have a chance to explore it this fall with the other 14 programs,” Mr. LeRoy said.

During the approval process, the school had been looking at a piece of land located across the street from the school’s main campus as a possible place to house the new program. A 500-square-foot building had been proposed for the 14-acre parcel, but those ideas were scrapped as a result of concerns voiced by the Bourne Conservation Commission and Conservation Agent Samuel O. Haines.

On July 11, Upper Cape Tech went in front of the Bourne Planning Board to seek approval to construct a facility on its campus. The school’s request was approved.

While the planning board has given its approval for the school to construct a facility for the program, that building will not be ready for the coming school year. Instead, students in the shop will learn in an existing lab space that has been refurbished to accommodate the courses in the main school building.

Starting this summer, summer students and staff will break ground on the new building. Mr. LeRoy said that the facility will be a 5,000-square-foot building. The work on the building will continue into the school year.

“The building will be used as a live campus construction project for the school’s carpentry, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and horticulture shop students,” he said. “This live project allows the opportunity for students to practice their trade skills in a controlled construction environment.”

Classes will start in the new building in the 2020-2021 school year.

The veterinary sciences building is not the only construction project taking place on the UCT campus. A 3,240-square-foot addition to the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) building is also in the works.

This addition adds classroom and shop space for the school’s Health Careers program. Mr. LeRoy said the building is currently used mainly for the school’s adult education program, but that the high school program will be using that space once it is completed.

“Moving this program into the LPN building frees up the old classrooms to be used for academic courses and allows the Health Careers students to have a dedicated shop space when they are not off-campus during clinical lessons,” he said.

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