The History of George Stone Technical College
George Stone Technical College was built in four phases as set forth by the Florida State Board of Education. The Center was named for the late George Stone, a Florida legislator. He worked vigorously for education as a whole and especially for vocational education. He introduced and helped pass a bill in 1965 to allocate millions of dollars of state funds to build vocational centers throughout the state. Our school is an outcome of that bill.
The Center was constructed and equipped by federal and state monies administered by the State Department of Education. The first phase of construction was completed in 1968, with classes beginning in September of that year, and the first graduate with a certificate was in the spring of 1970.
In the spring of 1969, Technical High School, which was located on North Palafox Street in Pensacola, burned down. The teachers and students were moved to George Stone. Classrooms were divided, and makeshift classes were continued until Phase Two was completed in August 1969, and a third phase of construction was placed on the drawing board. In the fall of 1969, the young adult classes started. The George Stone facility was in use twelve hours each day. Because of the widespread student interest and community need, two courses, masonry and carpentry, were added to the curriculum. There were no available classrooms; however, local funds were used for materials and the teachers and students of these classes designed and built two temporary classrooms, 24' X 32', during the school year of 1971-71. In the 1984-85 school year, these two buildings were converted into one building to house the upholstery classes.
Many people felt the success of building these two classes led the community group, Action 76, to make possible the Career House, which was built by students. It provided hands-on experience in the construction trades. The house, which is a three bedroom, two bath, living room and kitchen plan, is located across the street from George Stone Technical College. This project also served as a laboratory for drafting and design, bookkeeping, data processing, and horticulture.
After completion, the Career House was sold. It proved financially profitable and a worthwhile learning experience for the vocational groups involved. Since the first Career House, 17 Career Houses have been built and sold.
Ground was broken on November 10, 1976, for construction of new facilities to house the administrative offices, pupil personnel offices, learning resource center, new programs, and some existing programs. Equipment and staff were moved into the new facility in January 1978. The cost of the new facility was $4,210,661.
In December 1981, George Stone Technical College became fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Effective June 30, 1995, George Stone Technical College, with the approval of the Superintendent and the Escambia County School Board, elected to transfer accreditation to the Council on Occupational Education.
In January 1997, a $140,000 Technology Retrofit project was substantially completed. This project provided networking connections for phone, data, and video to most classrooms and offices.
West Florida High School of Advanced Technology joined the George Stone campus in August 2001. The final phase of George Stone Technical College/West Florida High School of Advanced Technology consisted of a gymnasium, cafeteria, additional classrooms, and athletic fields to accommodate the technical high school's enrollment. The most recent addition was the creation of the Criminal Justice building that was completed in August 2005.
In August of 2012, an adult high school completion program was added to the GSTC campus, providing an opportunity for students to earn a high school diploma and a career pathways initiative.