LUXEMBURG, Wis. (WFRV) – Demolition and construction work began this week in preparation for the Luxembourg-Casco School District’s new Ahnapee Diesel program, which begins with the start of the 2021-22 school year.
According to a statement, part of the former Casco District College is being converted into a diesel and manufacturing laboratory, consisting of classroom spaces and a manufacturing area.
Dan Klecker, director of state education at the Wisconsin Automobile and Truck Dealers Association (WATDA) Foundation, said 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 to workforce development solutions for state transportation concessionaires.
While some high schools teach diesel in their automotive curriculum, Klecker says LC’s new educational initiative will be the first dedicated to the diesel specialty.
“We are excited to offer the Ahnapee Diesel program – the first in the state – starting in August,” said Luxembourg-Casco District Superintendent Glenn Schlender.
The diesel program is an association of high schools in the region, including Luxembourg-Casco, Denmark and Kewaunee. School officials say students in their junior and senior years have the opportunity to earn college credit, while also receiving credit toward high school graduation, through a partnership with Northeast Wisconsin. Technical College (NWTC).
Upon successful completion of NWTC’s Diesel Service Technician (DMT) program during high school, students graduate with a one-year technical diploma. The district says the required 26 credits include courses such as Transportation Welding 1 and 2, Diesel Lab Operations, Introduction to Diesel Mechanics, Introduction to Electrical Systems, Diesel Heavy Duty Electricity 1 and 2, Chassis Subsystems, Hydraulic/Pneumatic Systems and Engine Subsystems.
After graduating from high school, students can choose to pursue an associate’s degree in diesel heavy-duty equipment technology or diesel medium and heavy-duty truck technology. The technical diplomas of diesel heavy equipment technician or diesel medium and heavy truck technician are also possible student paths.
District officials say more than 20 students have already enrolled at Ahnapee Diesel for the 2021-22 school year: 15 from Luxembourg-Casco, six from Kewaunee and two from Denmark.
School officials say the new Diesel and Fabrication lab will be located in what used to be the Art and Wood Shop areas, as well as the cafeteria, of the former Luxembourg-Casco College on Church Ave. in Casco.
Zeise Construction, led by LC graduate Jason DuChateau as project manager, is the general contractor for the building’s conversion, which is scheduled for completion August 1.
Through meaningful partnerships with area businesses and the regional transportation industry, school officials say more than $275,000 has been raised to start and support Ahnapee Diesel. Packer City International Trucks, with three locations in northeast Wisconsin offering sales and service in the medium and heavy truck segments, contributed $50,000.