Wed., 8:58am: Mahoning Valley shale academy set to open

When the Utica Shale Academy was announced in March, it preceded BP’s announced departure from the shale play by weeks as the shale-boom picture was gradually changing.

At about the same time, Halcon Resources, with drilled wells in Trumbull County, said it would re-evaluate its holdings in the Mahoning Valley.

The academy, sponsored by the Jefferson County Educational Service Center, is located in the Southern Local junior and senior high school building.

According to its website, its aim, through an innovative high school curriculum, is to serve as “a leading educational institution for all students who seek to explore, develop, and enhance career opportunities as well as further advance their education.”

When it was announced, the school, the first of its kind in Ohio, saw the state’s rich natural gas and crude oil reserves as a future job segment promising many opportunities to help the state’s economy grow and prosper.

According to its website, the Utica Shale Academy, for ninth through 12th-graders, is set to focus on far-reaching aspects by combining the fantastic power of contemporary technology with tried-and-true teaching methods.

But the Utica and Marcellus shale play landscape continues to evolve.

On Tuesday, the Associated Press reported Chevron is putting its plans on hold for a large regional headquarters in the Pittsburgh suburbs.

According to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the San Ramon, Calif.-based energy company delayed a final decision on an office project. It had paid more than $17 million for land for a proposed 61-acre project.

Chevron is one of the region’s largest producers of natural gas from the Marcellus shale formation, with holdings in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

But the academy is set to open on Aug. 19 with 22 students so far, three short of the state-required 25 that it needs by a Sept. 25 deadline, according to its Facebook page.

For more information, call 330-679-8162; or visit