SHELDON—A major building renovation project at Northwest Iowa Community College has been completed.

A roughly 6,000-square-foot area located inside Building C on the Sheldon-based college’s campus was remodeled during the spring and summer to become the new home of NCC’s welding program.

General contractor H&R Construction of South Sioux City, NE, began large-scale work on the project in early April and completed it on July 15.

“When I heard when we were starting and when it was expected to be done, it seemed like a very tight window, but the right contractor came in with a low bid in H&R,” said Steve Waldstein, NCC’s dean of applied technology. “They were phenomenal to work with and so organized on everything.”

He gave credit to the college’s director of physical facilities.

“Doug Rodger really stayed on top of things and worked with them,” Waldstein said. “They solved any issues. I can’t even think of but maybe two that I would call major issues.

“They solved problems right away; they got the solutions to them,” he said. “They didn’t sway off of the time frame, so it’s great to have it done.”

He expressed his excitement for the welding program’s new lab area inside Building C.

“It’s an amazing facility,” Waldstein said. “I’m so proud to show it off.”

The renovation project cost $728,660. The money used to pay for the work came from the Iowa Department of Education’s Accelerated Career Education Program, which assists with building expansions for designated career programs that are deemed to be of high demand in the state.

A total of $235,388 from the college’s plant fund paid for 30 new welding booths; installation and ductwork for the welding booths; downdraft tables for grinding work, a fume extractor and 25-foot-long boom arms; and an X-Flo dust collector.

NCC’s carpentry lab used to be located in the area of Building C now occupied by the welding program.

“Unfortunately, we closed our carpentry program due to low enrollment,” Waldstein said.

The welding program used to be housed inside the college’s Building D, which is undergoing an approximately $8.1 million renovation project.

That extensive project calls for the automotive and light duty diesel program portion to be fully renovated, with demolition and new construction occurring for the diesel technology program part.

“With the Building D renovation, to open up that space and to give the new automotive lab the space they needed, we needed to relocate the welding program,” Waldstein said.

“Our other manufacturing programs were already in Building C,” he said. “It has always been a long-range goal to kind of put all of those manufacturing programs under one roof.”

With that goal realized, the college has taken its first step toward creating what it will call the Advanced Manufacturing Center, which is set to open up in October inside Building C.

“We’re still running programs in all the spaces, but there are a few little bits and pieces that we’re working on — cosmetic things, too — to really open up our Advanced Manufacturing Center,” Waldstein said.

“Once we knew that welding was going to be relocated over here, then the Advanced Manufacturing Center — we knew it was going to be a reality,” he said.

The new center will be a central hub for NCC’s manufacturing programs, which are engineering design, design technology, production welding and advanced welding technology, and include a new space called the Idea Lab.

“The Idea Lab is a special room,” Waldstein said. “There’s going to be a lot of technology in that room, with the majority of it related to manufacturing, but there’s go­­ing to be some other testing equipment in it. A lot of programs on campus are going to be utilizing this space.”