Most of us break the bank purchasing items that welding students at Louise High School are learning how to build themselves.
Monday night, LHS welding instructor Ronnie Wilson presented a proposal for program funding to the Louise ISD school board.
Wilson’s budget explanation was followed by students enrolled in the program presenting photographs of their projects, which included trailers and wagons.
This year it was time to rejuvenate the welding program’s equipment, which is either old or underpowered, according to Superintendent Garth Oliver.
Two years ago, the board gave money to the athletics department and last year they gave money to the band program.
“We’ve got to have the equipment to be able to offer the knowledge and the experience so they can get a certification,” Oliver said.
To save the district money, Wilson proposed having the students build welding booths, a type of work space, as part of the curriculum.
“The biggest thing I want is some student ownership,” Wilson said. “If they own it, they’ll take better care of it.”
The school district would likely save thousands going this route. One new, state-of-the-art booth costs $5,995, while building seven is estimated to cost $2,774.
LISD School Board President Linda Alderson commended Wilson.
“One of the things I’m impressed with is the willingness to build the booths,” Alderson said. “And how you have taken and repurposed materials. In the real world, sometimes you don’t have the brand new supplies readily available.”
The school board unanimously voted to approve $50,000 in funding to buy new welding equipment and money designated for supplies such as sheet metal and welding tips.
The action item presented before the board originally called for a maximum of $45,000 in funds for welding programs. An amendment suggested by board member Jay Heard was carried through, bringing the approved amount to $50,000.
“I want him to be able to do some projects without having to worry about ‘have I got enough money?” Heard said.