It's five metres tall, three metres wide and weighs almost a tonne -- a tower of visually arresting steel. There's nothing quite like it. Is it a modernist sculpture?
It's better than that. It's a steel teaching aid, donated by the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC), with the assistance of a number of local industries. It will help Conestoga construction, architecture and civil engineering technology students to observe and learn about all of the welding processes used in steel-based construction.
The steel teaching aid is a collection of structural steel meant to help students see first-hand how a wide variety of structural steel shapes are joined to form framework for buildings, towers, bridges and other structures.
Located adjacent to the Woodworking Centre of Ontario at Conestoga's Doon campus in Kitchener, the impressive structure is efficient in a number of ways. Students can actually see the work being discussed. Faculty can comment on and illustrate structural procedures effectively. The aid is conveniently in a single, on-campus location, which reduces the costs and inconvenience associated with visiting many different job sites throughout the region.
Industrial participants in the project included: ACL Steel Ltd.; Albrecht Bros. Reinforcing Steel Ltd.; Dufferin Custom Concrete Group; Dymin Steel Inc.; G. Melo Excavating Ltd.; the former Sze Straka Engineering, now part of MTE Consultants Inc.; Melloul Blamey Construction Inc. and York-Ennis, A Division of Russel Metals Inc. These firms donated time, effort and materials to bring the teaching aid to Conestoga.
Official dedication of the steel teaching aid, complete with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque, took place on September 22 at the site. Speaking were Conestoga President John Tibbits, CISC Ontario Region Chair Chris Adach and ACL Steel Ltd. President Paul Seibel.
"This unique, generous gift is both distinctive and valuable," President Tibbits said. "We particularly appreciate the efforts of the many area businesses that gave time, energy and materials to the project, which will provide valuable learning opportunities for our architecture-construction and civil engineering technology students.