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FIRST TECHNOLOGY CENTER TO OPEN IN NOVEMBER

The first of four Pioneer community technology centers will open at the high school in November, school officials said.

Larry Slanovich, director of the centers, said the district is in the process of hiring the 30 part-time people needed to staff centers in Pioneer High School, Pioneer Middle School, Arcade Elementary and Delevan Elementary. The centers will be funded by a $675,000 federal grant.

The Pioneer School Board approved the grant during the summer, and the centers will get grant funding for the next three years. Taxes will not be affected.

"I'm very excited," Slanovich said. "I get to design it from the ground up. (The centers) will meet the needs of our community."

School officials said the goals of the centers include improving community access to technology, providing computer training and providing after-school homework support through software and staff.

"We're going to answer questions regarding homework if kids have questions," Slanovich said. "As parents come in, they are going to see what is available to them."

He said classes in using e-mail, the Internet and personal computers will be taught at the centers. Slanovich said the classes would be free to the public.

He said part of the grant would be used to develop "technology partnerships" between businesses and schools. Slanovich said the district would be able to provide computer training to employees who need it.

"We will try to gather data on what type of technology training they need," Slanovich said of employees.

Businesses may eventually be charged for the training, Slanovich said, but the price will be cheaper than if businesses go elsewhere for services.

School officials said that beginning in November, the high school center will be open from 3 to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Slanovich said time schedules for the other three facilities have not yet been finalized.

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