To the editor:
I have been a volunteer in the Industrial Technology Department at the Perry High School for the past 13 years. In the time that I have been here, I have become very aware of the hazards and shortcomings we have in this area.
When this lab was built over 50 years ago, it was state of the art at that time. As time has passed, no upgrades have been made. The ventilation is almost non-existent. When doing a lot of sanding, we tape furnace filters to the back of fans to help clean the air.
Due to the lack of space, machinery is too close together to be safe for the operators. This one are of the lab is shared with metalworking and welding, and the classroom is part of the woodworking area.
The automotive lab is not much bigger than a two-car garage with a small classroom added on. This same space is also used for small-engine repair and motorcycle repair. Some classes are so large that they are split, so some are doing lab work while others are doing classroom study.
The plans for expansion and upgrade will give the woodworking and metalworking their own lab area with classroom. The auto lab will be expanded to four bays with hoists and room for eight vehicles. This will also include plenty of room for tool chests, work benches and students.
The small engine repair lab will have its own area. Both labs will share a classroom.
Many of these students will not be able to afford to get a college degree or attend a trade school. It is our responsibility as parents and citizens of Perry, Iowa, to see that these young people are prepared to step out into the job market on graduation day.