New college campus will enhance learning

The conceptual drawing of the new Northern Lakes College consolidated campus in High Prairie shows the main entrance, designed by Manasc Isaac Architects. Clark Builders will construct the building, which is slated to be completed in time to open in the fall of 2020.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

The new consolidated campus for Northern Lakes College in High Prairie will feature the first teaching kitchen and cafeteria in the college and enhance other learning opportunities.

“It should be completed in time to open for fall 2020,” says NLC vice-president of corporate services and chief financial officer Robert LeSage.

“We hope to start site preparation and geothermal work in October and begin construction on the building next spring.”

The new campus will combine the college’s health services programs downtown, academic campus on the current site and trades training at Tolko west of town into one location.

Plans for the two-storey 33,000-square-foot building will welcome the first culinary arts program in the college and include three trades labs for carpentry, mechanics and welding and metalwork in the project designed by Manasc Isaac Architects, LeSage says.

“It will be one of the highest-utilized campus buildings in Northern Lakes College’s 25 campuses,” LeSage says.

“One of the key new features is that it will have open or exposed walls for electrical and geothermal components in some areas, so it will be a teaching tool for students,” LeSage says.

Natural wood décor, plenty of natural light, open space and room to grow will also be incorporated into the building.

“The building will create a sense of community,” architect Vedran Skopac says.

“The whole building will be used as a teaching tool.”

Several other unique components will be part of the facility.

“It will be handicapped accessible and also include special attention to female students and First Nations communities and common areas for students to collaborate,” LeSage says.

The new facility will include modern classroom and learning spaces, and provide apprentices with better access to innovative training spaces.

NLC president and CEO Ann Everatt says the new facility will include 33 individual learning suites, 12 classrooms and a health programs lab with space to accommodate up to eight beds.

Everatt says the Net Zero Ready building will be constructed of sustainable materials, including a high-performance envelope and high-efficiency windows.

Swaths of natural light and geothermal heating and cooling will cut health and cooling costs, she says.

“We will prepare the building for solar, but it is currently outside our funding range at presents,” Everatt says.

Student resources, including access to health and financial-aid services, will also be centralized to create easier access for student efficiencies for the institution and a more-cohesive college community.

The project is expected to create about 300 construction jobs and generate nearly $47 million in the local economy.

The drawing shows the site plan for the new campus which includes more than 80 parking spaces, green space, an outdoor basketball court and room to expand building and parking space.
The conceptual drawing shows a student common area that will feature plenty of Alberta wood.
A drawing shows a 3D bird’s eye view of the site with 53 Avenue on the bottom and 42 Street on the top.


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