An adult welding class is set to begin in late March following a partnership between the Nevada community school district and Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC). Classes will begin March 23 and run until May 30, taking place on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays each week.

“I’ve been involved in a number of conversations over the last few years, so it was out there that we have the regional facility and that we are receptive to using it more or trying to help more people with it,” Nevada Superintendent Steve Gray said during the March 2 meeting of the Nevada school board. “We were then approached based on that.”

The class will include seven-to-nine adult-learners, according to Gray, which was part of the district’s vision when the welding lab was built five years ago. Gray said the district has also worked with the Ames Chamber of Commerce and the Center for Restorative Justice in Des Moines.

“We’ve got the agreement and we’re excited to get that going and provide those opportunities to people in the community and surrounding communities,” Gray said during the meeting. “It’ll be our first go at it and hopefully not our last.”

Prior to attending, participants in the program are required to complete background checks as Nevada students frequent the building throughout the week, Gray said.

“I was provided the background checks of all of the adult learners,” Gray said. “We have students in that facility seven days a week, so certainly Monday nights, not so much Wednesday nights, but we also do Saturday mornings in that adjacent facility with Mr. Cooper’s program.”

“We don’t anticipate much overlap with the students and the adult learners; they’re in two different areas, but we wanted to make sure that we had the right to reject those backgrounds for safety reasons.”

The district’s welding lab will house the classes and a DMACC instructor will teach the couch. DMACC will be charged $45 dollars an hour to use the facility, which is billed at the end of the course, according to the cooperation agreement between the community college and the school district.

“The welding lab is a little unique, we were able to land on (the fee) based on some of our other facilities that people rent,” Gray said. “They will be providing the personal protection items, we’ll help them store it, (and) they’ve already provided me proof of insurance.”

“We will bill them for all consumables that we use.”

School board member Marty Chitty asked Gray during the March 2 meeting if classes would take place in any additional rooms in the district.

“At this time they could use our industrial tech classroom for the classroom portion,” Gray said. “When I met with them, the DMACC instructor wasn’t sure if he wanted to come into the back industrial tech area, or if he just wanted to set up tables in the welding room itself.

“One of those two options, I don’t see either as being a problem,” Gray said.