LUXEMBURG, Wis. (WFRV) – Demolition and construction work got underway this week in preparation for the Luxemburg-Casco School District’s new Ahnapee Diesel program, which begins with the start of the 2021-22 academic year.
According to a release, a portion of the district’s former middle-school facility in Casco is being converted into a Diesel and Fabrication Lab, made up of classroom space and a fabrication area.
Dan Klecker, state education director at The Foundation of the Wisconsin Automobile & Truck Dealers Association (WATDA), says Ahnapee Diesel will be the first diesel-only program at the high school level in the state of Wisconsin. WATDA is an organization that supports scholarships and educational programs leading towards workforce development solutions for transportation dealerships in the state.
While some high schools teach diesel within their automotive program, Klecker says that the new L-C educational initiative will be the inaugural one dedicated to the diesel specialty.
“We are excited to offer the Ahnapee Diesel program – the first in the state – starting in August,” says Luxemburg-Casco District Superintendent Glenn Schlender.
The diesel program is an association of area high schools, including Luxemburg-Casco, Denmark, and Kewaunee. School officials say students in their junior and senior years are given the opportunity to earn college credits, while also receiving credit towards high school graduation, through a partnership with Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC).
With successful completion of NWTC’s Diesel Maintenance Technician (DMT) curriculum while in high school, students attain a one-year technical diploma. The District says the required 26 credits include courses such as Transportation Welding 1 & 2, Diesel Lab Operations, Intro to Diesel Mechanics, Intro to Electrical Systems, Diesel Heavy Duty Electrical 1 & 2, Chassis Sub-Systems, Hydraulic/Pneumatic Systems, and Engine Sub-Systems.
Upon graduation from high school, students can choose to pursue an associate degree in either Diesel Heavy Equipment Technology or Diesel Medium & Heavy Truck Technology. Technical diplomas as a Diesel Heavy Equipment Technician or a Diesel Medium & Heavy Truck Technician are also possible student pathways.
District officials say more than 20 students have already registered for Ahnapee Diesel for the 2021-22 school year: 15 from Luxemburg-Casco, six from Kewaunee, and two from Denmark.
School officials say the new Diesel and Fabrication Lab will be located in what was the Art and Wood Shop areas, along with the Cafeteria, of the former Luxemburg-Casco Middle School, on Church Ave. in Casco.
Zeise Construction, led by L-C grad Jason DuChateau as the project manager, is the general contractor of the conversion of the building, with completion expected by Aug. 1.
Through meaningful partnerships with area companies and the regional transportation industry, school officials say more than $275,000 has been raised to begin and support Ahnapee Diesel. Packer City International Trucks, with three Northeast Wisconsin locations providing sales and service in the medium and heavy-duty truck segments, has contributed $50,000.