Bridgerland Technical College has remodeled its machining technology department and upgraded equipment after receiving two grants.
Chief Development Officer Frank Stewart said one of the grants came from the Gene Haas Foundation.
BTECH was granted nearly $500,000 in April 2020, Stewart said. The grant was used to remodel classrooms and labs in the machining technology department of the school.
Wes Chambers, the head of the machining department, said the remodel will benefit students with more modern technology — advanced equipment, new computers and 50% more classroom workspace.
Stewart said the remodel also included redoing the floors, painting the ceiling and adding windows.
“We actually put new windows into the hallway so that parents and students that come down to Bridgerland that are considering our program can see the students and facilities and what kind of work they’re doing,” Stewart said.
The Gene Haas Foundation also gave the school $30,000 to distribute as scholarships to machining technology students, Stewart said.
Chambers said the other grant BTECH received was from the National Science Foundation for $500,000, which enabled the school to purchase two five-axis milling machines and a five-axis coordinate measuring machine.
“The last two years have been very busy for us trying to write grants and keep serving students’ needs, but it has paid off in a big way,” Chambers said. “None of this growth would have been possible without the generosity of the Gene Haas Foundation and the National Science Foundation.”
Stewart said there are several employment opportunities in Cache Valley for students who receive their education from BTECH.
“The opportunity for students to come into this program and complete a certificate and go directly into the workforce is incredibly high,” he said.
Stewart said he’s grateful for the community’s support of BTECH.
“It’s just been an incredible year for us despite COVID,” he said. “We’re very lucky to be able to celebrate these kinds of opportunities right now at Bridgerland as we meet an increasing need for students to become workers and employees.”