Half-century old tool serves Sartell students again

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by Mike Knaak


Thanks to support from a local company, a shop tool from the original Sartell High School is again ready to serve students.

The machine, a vertical mill, was in relative disrepair until DeZURIK stepped up and paid for a technician to repair and upgrade the machine.

In addition to returning the tool to working order, a digital screen was added. The addition allows for accuracy to the 1,000th of an inch to be seen on a digital screen instead of reading a dial.

Other than the digital screen, the basic machine design has not changed much in 50 years, according to technology education teacher Nick Phillips. A new machine costs about $18,000.

The vertical mill is used in the school’s metal classes taken by 450 to 500 students a year for drilling holes and carving metal.

DeZURIK offered to replace the mill with a new or used machine or update the old one.

“We didn’t have the heart to throw it out,” technology education teacher Joe Schulte  said. “It was here when my dad took shop classes in 1970.”

“If you took a shop class at Sartell High School, you likely saw or used this machine (during) the last 50 years. After its reconditioning, courtesy of DeZURIK, it is good for another 50 years,” Schulte wrote in a report about the vertical mill.

In addition to funding the machine upgrade, DeZURIK regularly offers internships for the school’s technology students and occasionally hires a student right after graduation.

“They are impressed with the students we send there,” Phillips said.

The relationship with DeZURIK is part of the school’s Career and Technical Education Advisory Committee. Another committee member, Northern Metal Products, donated 10 welding tables worth about $10,000.

Maintaining an advisory committee of related industries and businesses helps the school keep its certification, which includes eligibility for federal grants. Teachers also need to maintain their certification showing they have the appropriate skills and knowledge, a process that takes 80 to 100 hours, Schulte said.

Current advisory committee members are: Jim Bowe, DeZURIK Manufacturing; Jon Pearson, St. Cloud Freightliner; Sarah Lampert, Park Industries; Les Engel, Engel Metallurgical; Greg Pietrowski, Northern Metal Products; Derrick Silvestri, St. Cloud State University; April Ryan, SEH Inc.; Brian Lommel, Bitstream Productions; Steve Struzek, BestWay Metal Fab; and Mitch Pangerl, Valley View Construction.

If businesses are interested in joining the Advisory Committee, contact High School Principal Brenda Steve at steve@sartell.k12.mn.us.

contributed photo
DeZURIK staff joined teachers for the return of the vertical mill to Sartell High School. (From left) Scott DeZurik, Jim Bowe, Chandler Commerford, Wade Domres, Joe Schulte and Nick Phillips.





Author: Mike Knaak

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