South Peace News
Northern Lakes College has taken a big step to construct a new consolidated campus in High Prairie.
Work to demolish the main academic campus on the east side of town is set to start while programs will relocate to the former Caisse Horizon Credit Union building on the west side of town starting in September.
“In the coming weeks, the old campus will be demolished to make room for a modern new campus that is tailored to meet the learning needs of our students,” says Robert LeSage, NLC vice-president of corporate service, in a news release Aug. 2.
“Until the new campus is completed, a building has been leased temporarily to provide office and classroom space beginning this fall.”
During the summer, staff has relocated to NLC’s Health Learning Centre while renovations take place in the leased building to accommodate students and staff.
The temporary campus opens Sept. 4 and will be the home for the next three years while construction progresses at the old site.
“We welcome the community to join college staff on Sept. 11 at noon for a barbecue at the new location to welcome students to their temporary new campus,” LeSage says.
The $20.6 million projects sees the college combining its health services site downtown, academic campus, and the trades training center at the Tolko plant west of town into one consolidated campus.
College leadership is excited about the project.
“We plan to have the first shovel in the ground in the fall and open in the summer of 2020,” stated NLC president and CEO Ann Everatt during an open house Jan. 31.
“That year is the 50th anniversary of the college and it would be a fabulous way to celebrate.”
A new consolidated campus has been in the works for about 10 years.
Funding of $21.6 million was announced March 27, 2017 in High Prairie by Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt, including $882,000 to plan over two years and $20.6 million to construct.
Development of a new, centralized High Prairie facility will accommodate 250 students, address future growth plans, and meet employment demands.