POINT PLEASANT — Welding students from the Mason County Career Center are working to complete bleachers in a gymnasium at Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School.
Brent Hereford, the welding class instructor, said the juniors in his program are working on this project and are almost completed. The students are in their first year of welding at the career center.
“When they come into my program, some of them don’t know how to read a tape measure,” Hereford said. The students had to learn about measuring, safety and various welding techniques at the beginning of the class before even starting the project.
The bleacher project began at the beginning of December with taking measurements to design the pieces.
Hereford said he was asked by the school to help create new bleachers in the gym. The old seats were made from plastic and had started to crack and break. Hereford said they did a trial on the top section of the other gym in the high school before taking on the full project. The new bleachers have a wooden bench.
Hereford said projects like this one give his students a sense of confidence knowing they are completing a meaningful job that will benefit their community. The programs in the Mason County Career Center operate as a simulated workplace, meaning everyone has a job on the project.
Wahama High School Junior Lily Edwards is the foreman on the job. She is in charge of making sure every task is completed correctly. Edwards said she is glad she can work on a project that will benefit her community.
“Its been a long, hard project, but its been worth it,” Edwards said.
The students still need to finish one section and then complete the handicapped-accessible row of the bleachers. Hereford said it is important for his students to know how to accommodate everyone and to know why they need to accommodate everyone.
The wooden seats on the bleachers will be finished, but Hereford said he is unsure how they will finish them. The wood might be stained before adding a clear coat or they might be finished with only the clear coat.
Other programs in the career center helped with the project, according to Hereford. The drafting class designed the bleachers. Machine tooling students helped to cut the pieces and drilled holes for assembly.
Hereford said the Mason County Career Center is currently taking applications from high school sophomores form all three county high schools. All programs — electrical, nursing, engineering, HVAC, welding, automotive, machine tooling, agriculture, graphic design, culinary and maybe careers in education — are accepting applications for the next school year. Each high school counselor will have the forms.
Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.