Dean Education Center dedicated

The governor came through on a promise, the state came up with $13 million for the construction, and federal grants provided $2.85 million for training and equipment.
More than 400 people gathered January 14 in Springfield for the dedication of the Howard Dean Education Center. Along with the guest of honor were such dignitaries as Senator James Jeffords, who secured the federal funding; Bob Flint of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce; Pat Moulton of the Springfield Regional Development; new Education Commissioner Ray McNulty; Interim UVM President Edwin Colodny; and State Colleges Chancellor Robert Clarke.
“Many of us had been providing services to the Springfield area for a number of years. But now that we have pooled our resources, we are going to make a significant difference. Giving local students the chance to earn both associate’s and bachelor’s degrees close to home. Helping employees boost their professional skills through job training programs. Making sure local employers have a top notch workforce. And giving employers a valuable technology that lets them communicate via interactive television with others from around the state and around the world,” Clarke said in his opening remarks.
Along with the River Valley Technical Center, the single facility brings together the University of Vermont, Community College of Vermont, Johnson State External Degree Program, Three River Valley Regional Business/Education Partnership, Vermont State Colleges, Vermont Technical College and Vermont Interactive Television. It is attached to Springfield High School.
The renovated River Valley Education Center was renamed the Dean Center last September.
Flint said this education center is a much more important development for the area than the much more well known prison that just broke ground near I-91 in Springfield. The governor had promised Springfield that if the community accepted the prison, then the state would provide significant economic development resources for the region. The education center is a major result of that effort.
In his remarks, the understandably pleased and admittedly embarrassed governor lauded the facility as a place that will help build the future of the Springfield.