BHC cuts steel bow to open new welding center

Black Hawk College celebrated the completion and opening of the new Welding and Skilled Trades Center in Kewanee with a Jan. 15, 2015, ribbon-cutting and open house.

BHC welding instructor Mark Washburn used a cutting torch to cut a 6-foot-long steel bow while college and elected officials cut the traditional ribbon with scissors.

Ribbon cut with sparks - cropped for web












The 15,000-square-foot facility is located next to the college’s Community Education Center. The one-story building has:

  • Virtual welding lab, welding lab, project lab, flex lab, cutting lab, machine room, two classrooms, three faculty offices and commons area.
  • 3,700-square-foot welding lab built to American Welding Society standards contains 24 welding booths with Fronius, Lincoln and Miller welders that can perform MIG, TIG and stick welding.
  • Project lab large enough to accommodate vehicles.

“It’s wonderful. This is beautiful,” said welding student Jeffrey King who helped set up the new equipment in the building.

“This is just amazing to me,” welding instructor Mark Washburn said.

“We dreamt this. We drew pictures. We had a lot of good ideas. And I’m just so elated that I can be a part of this,” he said.

Weld lab - webThe $4 million project is being paid for with 2012 bond funds. The city of Kewanee donated the land to the college.

“I knew it would bring something to our community that was needed and would be nice,” Kewanee Mayor Bruce Tossell said.

“I had no idea it would be this nice. Just standing here today in this magnificent building makes me want to learn the skill of welding.”

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Last updated 1/20/2015