The metals shop at Robertson High School had some pretty old machines. This week, that's all changed.
Robertson teacher Gary Leger remembers using the equipment when he was a student in the 1970s, and the machines have remained in the welding classroom during his eight years at the high school.
He said state Sen. Pete Campos, D-N.M., also the superintendent of the Las Vegas City Schools, was able to get $100,000 at the state Legislature to get all new equipment for the welding classroom.
Leger said the old machines were good back in the 1970s, but they wore out over time. Besides, he said, they weren't as safe as modern equipment.
"The machines were outdated," he said.
The new equipment in the metals shop has more computerized features, in which students can make designs and have computers perform the cutting of metal.
Leger teaches one of the school's three welding classes — the agricultural mechanics class. Each class is limited to 14 students for safety reasons, and all are filled up, he said.
"We could teach twice as many if we had the time to do it," he said.
Most of the students in welding classes are boys, but three girls are in the agricultural mechanics class, which is considered the advanced version of welding.