Pueblo Community College announced it would receive more than $1.35 million from the state Capital Development Committee to renovate its weld shop.

A news release issued by PCC said funding will come from $6.1 million left over from money authorized in SB17-267 (Sustainability of Rural Colorado) for other state projects.

“I am grateful to the General Assembly, the Capital Development Committee and, in particular, our local legislators for their continued support of Pueblo Community College,” said PCC President Patty Erjavec in the release. “This funding will allow us the necessary expansion to provide for a safe teaching and learning environment for a program with high demand. I am thrilled for faculty and our students.”

The weld shop occupies 4,570 square feet on the lower level of the school’s San Juan building. The release said the renovation will provide more space and enhanced safety.

“Major improvements will include expanding by more than 1,600 square feet, which will allow for the creation of a dedicated space for major fabrication equipment; adding 10 new welding stations; and installing new welding fume extractors to provide better ventilation,” according to the release.

“The welding expansion project will take our program to the next level with increased capacity and a laboratory design that is conducive to student learning,” Jennifer Sherman, dean of business and advanced technology said in the release. “We currently have more than 140 welding majors on our Pueblo campus and this will allow us to increase the pipeline of skilled graduates entering the regional workforce.”

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A construction timeline has not been established. The next step will be to accept bids for the project. The plan is for welding programs to continue throughout the construction process, Sherman said.