New Cleveland Vocational High School Includes Pre-apprentice Program

The new Max S. Hayes Career and Technical High School in Cleveland has opened to rave reviews.

Inside this state-of-the-art facility, the students in the construction trades curriculum will directly benefit from an agreement signed between the Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council (CBCTC), the City of Cleveland and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, that makes Max Hayes the first high school in Ohio to feature a pre-apprenticeship program. After graduating from high school, those students can enter an apprenticeship program.

Max Hayes Exterior

“This is meaningful in the fact that we are continuing to expand our efforts to grow our ranks with high school graduates who have an understanding of what it takes to have a career in the building trades,” said CBCTC Executive Secretary Dave Wondolowski. “Not only will the students learn some of the basic skills of each of our crafts, but they will learn about our history.

Max Hayes Welding Bay

The welding bay inside the new Max Hayes High School.

The new $48 million school building can hold up to 800 students and sits on a 13-acre site on West 65th Street, just south of I-90 in an industrial area. The interior is painted bright colors and large, first floor bays adorn the building, allowing for automobiles, heavy equipment and materials to be brought into the wide-open teaching areas. Inside the bays sits new, high-tech equipment and tools to better prepare students for jobs in the construction, manufacturing, automotive, welding and software development industries.

The Old Max Hayes High School held more than 1,400 students. The drafty, rundown building sat on just 5 acres, and students had to use an industrial elevator in order to bring cars and other heavy equipment up to the auto shops, which were located on the third floor.

Simply put, the difference in the two buildings is stunning.

The carpentry shop inside Max Hayes High School.

The carpentry shop inside Max Hayes High School.

When teachers in the new building see a trashcan, they know its only purpose is as a waste receptacle. In the old building, trashcans were often used to catch water dripping from pipes or the leaky roof.

Unlike many new schools, Max Hayes has exposed piping, wiring and HVAC systems, which are used as learning tools to teach students about certain aspects of construction and trades. Even the elevator and elevator shaft were designed so students could see how they work.

A look at the exposed wiring, HVAC, and piping at Max Hayes High School.

A look at the exposed wiring, HVAC, and piping at Max Hayes High School.

The new materials and equipment are an integral part of the educational process, Wondolowski said, adding that the former building was dark and contained old, worn tools and materials that were reused hundreds of times or more.

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