Metals Shop Gets a New Look

Michael Varriale , Staff Writer

The two-year renovation is finally complete.

A newly renovated, organized, and cleaned up shop with new tools and equipment is at the disposal of Farmingdale High School students. With the help of its new teacher, Metal Fabrication has become one of Farmingdale’s biggest electives. 

Mr. Matura, who teaches Metal Fabrication and Small Engine Repair says,  “Renovations started February of 2020 and with COVID shutting down the school and contractors, we did not finish the major parts of the renovations until the end of August 2020. In September 2020, tools, equipment and materials were brought back from storage and put into the shop.”

Prior to the renovations, students cleaned out the classrooms and put all tools and equipment into storage bins outside, where they spent almost a year before the room was filled again. Throughout the renovations, “The shop was completely emptied, and all contents were put into storage. The floor was stripped to bare concrete and the new epoxy floor was installed. The walls, ceiling, and ventilation hoods were cleaned and painted. The electrical system was surveyed and updated for the planned needs of the new shop layout. All new lighting fixtures were installed. Some new furniture, equipment, and tools were purchased: five workbenches, stools, five work tables, tool cabinets, whiteboard cabinet, electrical cord reels, and a variety of new hand tools. Other furniture, equipment, and tools were refurbished after many years of hard work and returned to service,” said Matura. 

Currently in the shop there are two Metal Fabrication classes and three Small Engine Repair classes. As for the future of the shop, Matura says, “The Metal Fabrication and Small Engine Shop will be a continual improvement project. Improving how the shop flows and functions based upon what we are working on, or advancements in the technological and manufacturing future.”  

Mr. Matura took over the class right after the renovations and even designed the room himself as a part of a course he took while in school for his master’s degree. His favorite parts of the room are “the forging and casting furnaces, CNC equipment, and also having a garage door. The furnaces and CNC equipment allow us to shape metal to whatever we need and are far more advanced than basic cutting and welding. The garage door allows a lot of flexibility and the ability to work on big projects and to allow students to work inside and outside at the same time.” Mr. Matura also said the most useful part of the new room is “the entire shop being completed and ready to perform any type of metalworking is extremely useful since there are almost no limits to what we can do. We have plenty of space to work on projects of any caliber and the machines and tools to do it.”

Before the renovations, it could be challenging at times for someone that was interested in the class to learn, work, and create projects. Now the class is a great place to learn and practice these skills and can open students’ minds to possibly having a career in metal fabrication or small engines. 

On December 9th, Jeff Press from Universal Technical Institute came to FHS to introduce students to their program. This is the first time he has come to the school for the Metals class. He spoke to students about UTI’s welding courses and briefly spoke of their automotive course as well. He discussed the possibilities for career paths in welding and different careers welding can be used in. 

The Metals class has become a great option for students who are looking for a new elective. The class will teach students valuable skills that will not only help them in life, but can help them find the perfect career as well.