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Welding Lab bid goes to Great Bend firm
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The Welding Certificate program at Barton Community College started this fall, and on Tuesday the BCC Board of Trustees approved the purchase of 10 complete multi-process welding machines for the lab. Because this purchase was over $50,000, the administration sought bids and brought them before the board, which approved the low bid of $57,759.58 from Scott’s Welding in Great Bend.
Trustees said they were pleased that the bid went to a local firm, and that Scott’s Welding also made a commitment to donate an 11th machine to the college.
Dean of Administration Mark Dean explained that the bid was for 10 MIG/TIG combo welders, and Scott’s Welding will donate a TIG welder that can be used on aluminum. There were two other bids, for $62,900 and $67,137.
A Jobs and Innovative Industry Skills Training (JIIST) grant will fund the purchase of these items for hands-on learning.
Executive Director of Workforce Training and Economic Development Mary Foley reported that last week 10 students started a night class in welding. Other classroom equipment costing less than $50,000 had already been purchased, and the students began by learning about safety and blueprint reading.
Two part-time instructors have been hired and the college hopes to have enough students for a future class that meets in the daytime and perhaps on Saturdays.

In other business, the board approved the following new personnel: Angela Hicks, administrative assistant (information services), and Shannon Schreiner, nursing instructor (faculty contract), both at the Barton County campus; and Samantha McDaniel, customer service representative at Fort Riley.

Board retreat
Trustees will tour the new welding lab and storage area, as well as the Fine Arts Building; Camp Aldrich Dining Hall; Indoor Sports Training Center; Baseball Press Box; Wrestling Practice Facility & Locker Room/Offices; and Child Development Center, during the board’s fall retreat. On Tuesday they agreed to hold the retreat on Oct. 13 on campus, which means trustees won’t be going to the 2015 ACCT (Association of Community College Trustees) Leadership Congress. That national meeting is set to start Oct. 14 in San Diego, California.
Oct. 13 will also be the day the Winged Aspirations sculpture outside the Shafer Art Gallery is dedicated.
Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman said the administration would look for other opportunities for board members to receive professional development training that is closer to home.
The retreat is expected to require at least five hours of the trustees’ time, and will include work on the Strategic Plan. An update on the implementation of the new plan was also on Tuesday’s agenda