Drafting students appreciate new space

Online Editor and Videographer

The Drafting and Engineering Program has been moved to the Innovation Outpost located downtown off Polk Street and 12th Avenue. The reason for this move was due to students requesting a more comfortable environment to work in during class. Before the move, they were in a smaller classroom on the Washington Street Campus, with small desks and single monitors. 

“So the Drafting Program is teaching students how to draw on the computer,” Carrie Hoffman, drafting program coordinator and instructor, said. “Every design, every house, every building, every piping facility, all that has to have some sort of design and somebody has to draw it. They’re not engineers, they are engineering support and they are drawing that way,” she said. 

The drafting students said there are a number of reasons they appreciate the recent move, including a new, larger classroom equipped with 21 dual-monitored computers and larger work desks that mimic industry. 

For Drafting major, Ethan Bailey, working on two computers at once is the best perk. “Being able to work on one screen and then the other screen, being able to see what you need to do and all the things,” he said. Bailey said the other perk is parking. “It’s away from everybody else, you always get a parking spot and it’s super easy to get here.”

In July of 2023, discussions about creating a new workspace began. Students were asked to submit their requests and wishes for a new environment. During the fall of that same year, Becky Burton, associate vice president of academic services, asked the drafting faculty to check out the Innovation Outpost. Upon doing so, all of their requests were met and the space itself was ready to be used. Over the 2023 Christmas holiday break, the IT department worked tirelessly to ensure that the space would be ready by the Spring semester.

“We are so very grateful to be using the phenomenal computer lab in the IO for our Drafting program,” Penelope Davies, department of math, engineering, drafting & data science chair, said. 

“This lab truly allows our students to work in a lab that reflects the environment that they will be working in as they move forward to a full-time job into the industry,” she said.

Despite such a success with the move to the Innovation Outpost, there’s a chance it may only be temporary. “The Innovation Outpost is actually for external businesses to come and innovate and collaborate with their peers and help grow their business,” said Hoffman. 

“While that is not happening yet, that’s why we get to use this space. It’s a beautiful space. If we are to move back to Washington Street, we will have a similar space which is not there yet. That’s our whole goal, to have a nice space on the Washington Street campus. This building will still work and innovate like they plan for it to,” she said. 

The Drafting program itself is offered in two degrees. The Drafting Technician Certificate which can be finished in a year which has students learn four different drawing software programs, and the Associate’s of Applied Science Degree which can be completed in two years, offering a total of nine different software programs to learn, preparing students for the workforce or transferring to another university. 

“Right now I have four students working at Xcel Energy, downtown,” said Hoffman. “They are all interns, they’re getting paid and they’re learning on the job while they’re still going to school. I know of at least one at Pantex. I have several that are just spread out all over town,” she said. 

Both staff and students alike seem grateful for the opportunity that this program provides as well as the space that’s been kindly offered by the Innovation Outpost.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.