The Terrace campus of Coast Mountain College (CMTN) officially unveiled its newly renovated, state-of-the-art House of Cedar trades-training facility today. A ribbon-cutting ceremony in the building’s lobby drew about 200 people to celebrate the completion of the $18.4-million project.
“Innovative buildings and other investments in physical infrastructure are critical to ensure we are providing modern learning environments for our students,” CMTN president Ken Burt said to the audience. “The upgrades through this program will ensure our trades students are learning in shops and classrooms that will reflect what they will encounter in the workforce, post graduation.”
The B.C. government provided $11.9 million to the project while the Government of Canada covered $6.3 million. CMTN, in combination with other partners, provided about $200,000.
B.C.’s minister of advanced education, skills and training, Melanie Mark, cancelled her attendance but appeared via video conference to congratulate the college and its students.
|Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Melanie Mark|
“There is no greater honour than to be able to invest in people and opportunity,” Mark said. “We’ve got students studying to be welders and electricians and carpenters — we’re going to rely on you. We need you to build with us, to build our roads, our schools, our hospitals. But without these skilled trades you can’t do that. Without industry we don’t have those apprenticeships. So we need everyone in the same canoe…paddling together.”
Renovations and upgrades to the House of Cedar, built in 1970, include modern classrooms, updated and enlarged trades
workshops, a new atrium, learning commons space and food service area.
The building also has updated mechanical, electrical and fire-protection systems to reduce energy consumption and meet current building code requirements.
“Modern learning spaces are key to helping students develop the skills they’ll need for the middle-class jobs of today and tomorrow,” said Navdeep Bains, federal minister of innovation, science and economic
development, in a press release. “Our government’s investment in the Coast Mountain College is another step forward in our plan to boost innovation and grow the Canadian economy.”
Federal funding for the renovations was made available through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund. In B.C., 20 public post-secondary institutions and one private First Nation institution have benefited from 30 individual projects worth a total of $682 million.
House of Cedar will be able to accommodate up to 429 students in a variety of trades.
“Our trades students are now learning in bright, airy classrooms and modern shops with equipment that reflects the reality of their future workplaces,” Burt said. “But it’s also so much more than a modern trades training facility. This building is fast becoming the hub of student, staff and faculty activity on campus – its natural light, beautiful wood
beams and modern furnishings make it a welcoming and exciting place to be on campus.”