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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • DC3 holds ribbon cutting for expanded technology center

  • Dodge City Community College (DCCC) held an open house and ribbon cutting for its new Lewis Technology Center at 10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 15. The event was attended by school faculty and members of the community.The new center is used for instructing students in welding. The old facility lacked classroom space that was...
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  • Dodge City Community College (DCCC) held an open house and ribbon cutting for its new Lewis Technology Center at 10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 15. The event was attended by school faculty and members of the community. The new center is used for instructing students in welding. The old facility lacked classroom space that was separate from the workshop, so builders added a number of new features, including a changing room, lounge area, two classrooms and two offices. According to DCCC Foundation Director Roger Proffitt, the decision to expand the facility was largely made in response to student demand. By the time of the facility groundbreaking in March, there was already a wait list to get into the welding program. Proffitt said the new expansion should double the number of students able to take welding at the college. He also said that investment in programs such as welding boost opportunities for students seeking to enter a lucrative workforce. “There was such a long waiting list that this was a priority to do,” Proffitt said. “Where better for them to get skilled employees than from the local community college,” he added. On Friday, the college's welding instructors were enthusiastic about the expansion. “It's made for a safer environment for students to learn in while they're in the welding shop and it's made for a better learning atmosphere,” instructor Justin Weil said. “… We've seen a huge increase in test scores, the ability to retain information. We've just seen more positive attitudes from students.” “We can learn a lot better,” welding student Gustavo Piedrasanta added. The new Lewis Technology Center cost around $500,000 to build. No college funds were used for the building, as all money came from donations. Donors included Roto-Mix, Speed King, Building Solutions, Davis Electric, Stewart Plumbing and Jim Lewis, for whom the building was named. The building is the first on DCCC's campus named through a financial donation. The architect for the new building was Roger Angell of Plains, Kan. It was constructed by Building Solutions. Currently DCCC offers a two-year certification program in welding. About 60 students are enrolled and the program has three instructors. Dodge City High School students are allowed to take welding courses at the college. Next on the agenda is the new activity center, which is scheduled for ground breaking in January. Proffitt says he feels the new additions will attract more students to DCCC. “Any time we can get more students on campus, that's our job,” Proffitt said. “Students are customers. Any time you can get more customers, it's not only good for the college, it's good for the community.”

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