School seeks support for computer machine lab

While plans for a new machining lab at Snohomish High School are flying, money to complete the lab is not.

So far, fund-raising is $70,000 short of bills paid and $300,000 short of the goal.

But organizers aren’t worried yet. This is their “field of dreams,” said Doug Roulstone, senior vice president of business development for Thomas James International and the project’s lead organizer. As students start working with the new equipment and find quality jobs upon graduation, the funds will come, he said.

Key gaps in the program include up-to-date mills and lathes, and other equipment for the main machine shop, as well as things you can’t put a price tag on.

“We need more support,” said Matt Reinhard of Aerospace Manufacturing Technologies Inc. in Arlington, which donated the computer numeric control machine, as well as volunteer maintenance time, drafting support and internships.

The Snohomish County Workforce Development Council, of which Roulstone is a member, is helping with fund-raising efforts. Long-term goals include applying for grants and having students work on small-scale production orders that will pay for themselves.

Costs include maintenance and equipment upgrades. Also, materials are required to use the machines, from corn starch for the three-dimensional printer to metals for the computer numeric control machine.

Roulstone said business leaders won’t leave the school hanging. “We have the responsibility to make sure those requirements are met.”

To donate, call Roulstone at 360-794-4448, ext. 2289; Bruce Richards at 360-568-7980; or Karen Riddle at the Snohomish School District office at 360-563-7239.

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