Owens Unveils New $1.1 Million Welding Design Center

Posted Jul 28th, 2011 by Brad Meyer  Category: Education


PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, OH – Owens Community College continues to expand access to higher educational opportunities within Northwest Ohio by unveiling a new $1.1 million Welding Design Center on the Toledo-area Campus. The new state-of-the-art educational center, which previously held Penta Career Center’s Welding and Automotive Collision Repair Labs, features the latest in technological and academic resources specific to welding for several degree and certificate programs.

The addition of a newly renovated Welding Design Center is a continuation of the College’s ongoing campus expansion initiative on the new south campus, which formerly was the home to Penta Career Center. Owens began the 2010-11 academic year by unveiling a $2.9 million Heritage Hall building. The 38,304 square-foot Heritage Hall (former Penta Career Center Skill Center) renovation project was preceded by the opening of a refurbished 29,045 square-foot Founders Hall (former Penta Career Center Administration Building) in January 2010. Both Heritage Hall and the $2.6 million Founders Hall are located on the new southern portion of campus.

“Owens Community College’s new Welding Design Center enables the Department of Manufacturing and Industrial Operations to more than double our degree and certificate program opportunities for area residents within the academic field of welding,” said Jim Gilmore, Owens Chair of Manufacturing and Industrial Operations. “The need for highly skilled welding professionals is greater than ever before. This newly renovated building, which is unlike any other educational welding facility of its kind in the region, will provide our students with the latest in academic resources to prepare them for careers within the welding industry.”

The renovated 14,512 square-foot Welding Design Center is situated south of Founders Hall and Heritage Hall on the Toledo-area Campus. Owens’ new educational facility features two dedicated instructional classrooms and two expansive experiential learning classroom areas for instruction and hands-on learning. The complex also includes three offices, a locker room area, and men’s and women’s restroom facilities.

Owens’ two expansive experiential learning classrooms house 60 welding booths, 12 cutting booths and eight grinding stations all with leading edge technology for students to receive hands-on training specific to SMAW (stick), GMAW (MIG) and GTAW (TIG) welding processes. Thirty-six booths have the capability of utilizing argon and carbon dioxide for welding purposes, while oxygen and acetylene are featured in 12 cutting booths. The Welding Design Center also includes a 1,813 square-foot storage complex for welding materials, which is located adjacent to the educational facility.

Additionally, 68 stations feature an innovative welding fume extraction system. The state-of-the-art technology is designed to extract metalworking particulate in a controlled direction, filter the particulate through a self-cleaning unit and re-circulate the filtered air throughout the new Welding Design Center. The recirculation of filtered air instead of exhausting non-filtered air to the outside enables the College to enhance energy efficiency and save on heating and cooling costs.

Owens’ Welding Design Center is utilized by students pursuing an associate’s degree in welding as well as GMAW welding, GTAW welding, SMAW welding and welding pre-certification certificates. Additional programs incorporating the Welding Design Center’s technology into their academic curriculum include automotive technology, advanced integrated manufacturing systems technologies, Caterpillar dealer service technician, diesel technology, John Deere technician and skilled trades technologies. Welding-specific academic specialty courses featured within the Welding Design Center include artistic welding, welding fabrication and advanced welding.

Experiential learning areas are also equipped with innovative multimedia capability for educational instruction highlighted by dedicated instructor stations in which Owens faculty can utilize an Extron Control Panel system. Serving as the classroom’s focal point from a technological standpoint, the Extron Control Panel system features a dedicated computer, a digital document camera, a Blu-ray DVD Player, and audio amplifier and speakers. Each academic area also house ceiling mounted digital/analog and high definition capable projectors and screens for instructional purposes and feature the latest in computing resources, including an array of software applications and programming languages as well as network and high-speed Internet access.

Designed with energy efficiency and conservation in mind, each room’s bank of lights automatically power down after a period of time without detected movement. The entire facility includes building automation heating and air conditioning. The newly renovated educational facility replaces Owens’ 24 combined welding, cutting and grinding stations, which were located within the College’s Transportation Technologies Center.

Owens’ new Welding Design Center is designed by the firms Stough and Stough Architects of Sylvania and MDA Engineering Inc. in Maumee. Midwest Contracting Inc. of Holland served as the general contractor.

In 2008, Owens marked a milestone in the academic institution’s history by purchasing the former Penta Career Center, which was adjacent to the College’s Toledo-area Campus, for $6 million. The purchase included 56.38 acres of land, as well as approximately 325,530 square feet of classrooms, offices, educational laboratories and parking lots.

In September 1965, Owens opened its doors as Penta County Technical Institute, the first technical institute in Ohio, with over 200 students enrolled. Seven years later, the College officially adopted the name of The Michael J. Owens Technical College (now Owens Community College).

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Brad Meyer - Owens Community College

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