Fanshawe unveils $5 million renovation to welding lab

Unchanged in decades, Fanshawe College showed off a state-of-the-art upgraded welding lab Monday.

The total cost of the construction and equipment was $5 million, with more than $800,000 provided through the Province of Ontario’s Apprenticeship Capital Grant.

Fanshawe increased the available welding stations from 37 to 50, and introduces simulated welding stations, expanding the footprint of the lab into two rooms. There are also separate instructional areas to enable classes to run simultaneously.

The VR-styled stations give students better opportunity to hone their skills without the vast waste that comes from physical welding, according to Professor Chris Hooper.

“The learning curve in welding is unfortunately long. Nothing can replace the time of sitting on a stool or standing over the bench doing it. So the VR lab cut back on the amount of materials consumables, gases all that in this lab it all goes,” he said.