A Visit to the Newly Expanded and Upgraded Facilities of NWTC

In November, Peter Mack attended the fall advisory board meeting at NWTC and toured the "incredible" new facilities

Submitted by Peter Mack

Have you ever thought about going back to school? That thought crossed my mind after seeing the new shop and classrooms at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC). In November I went to NWTC for the fall advisory board meeting.

I had been hearing about and discussing what the school would do with money from a referendum that was passed by the voters in the district in 2015. We talked about the needed technology upgrades and the need for space at multiple advisory board meetings. What I experienced seeing the new facilities was, in a word, incredible! The new shop and classrooms are state of the art for teaching Model Making. A career choice I think we all feel passionately about.


Walking up to the new entrance of the building you really get the feeling that you are entering a school of higher learning. The lobby is open and spacious with two story ceilings, and a lounge area to meet with your classmates.


The first thing you notice are the 3D printing machines. They are not hidden in some back room but showcased in a glass walled room for everyone to see, and envy. Some of the latest 3D technologies line the four walls. Just past the entrance door is a large open space with benches. 

Next are the two classrooms for lectures and computer/CAD work. Through the next door is the fully equipped shop. And what a shop it is - 4 Haas CNC mills, a full traditional wood shop, machine shop equipment and hand tools, including 2 Sawstop table saws and a Sawstop router.
















The casting room has been set up with pressure pots and vacuum chambers, not just one or two - more like ten. I don’t think there will be students waiting in line to pour castings or molds.

The space that the new shop resides in is from the old automotive shop which moved to its own building. Left behind is a down draft paint booth big enough for a car along with several other smaller booths and a paint mixing room. Project and material storage areas are significant with a little room to grow. The main shop area allows for floor space to build large models and plenty of benches to build projects on. The large windows in the garage doors from the former auto shop give plenty of natural light.

The driving force behind this wonderful reuse of space are the two instructors Andy Nooyen and Jon Ries and Associate Dean Pam Mazur. After years of planning the space, the payoff is quite a tribute to their hard work and perseverance. It’s great to see the result of their vision and dedication for a world class shop in which to teach students who want to learn Model Making. 

I left NWTC thinking of the shop I worked in while going to school and was a little bit envious of the students that will be learning their trade there now. As you all know there is always something new to learn in Model Making and NWTC is making that a reality.

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Association of Professional Model Makers
Winter 2019 Newsletter