City of Terrace backs community college renewal plan

Northwest Community College has sights set on renovations, construction

Terrace city council has agreed to a memorandum of understanding with Northwest Community College that it will be a potential supporter in the college’s bid to overhaul existing buildings on its Terrace campus.

In the works is a redone trades building, the original structure dating back to the college’s start as a trades school, new cafeteria and residences. The trades building alone will cost about $14 million to overhaul while building a new cafeteria and residences could result in a total cost approaching $40 million.

While the contemplated costs are large, college officials have pointed out in previous sessions with city officials that Selkirk College in the Kootenays recently revamped a campus along the same lines.

The college is looking for a commitment from the city to help.

“They will have to undertake a fundraising program,” said city development services director David Block in a report to council at its April 25 meeting. He added that Selkirk did the same thing, with the province paying for 80 per cent and the college left to raise the remainder.

To date the city and the college have agreed to a financial exchange which would see the college first paying all of the building permit costs estimated at $150,000.

The city would then return half of the fees to the college as its contribution to the college’s campaign to raise money.

Additionally, the college would provide an annual $1,000 student bursary in the name of the city for the five years the memorandum would be in effect.

The college is hoping the province will commit itself to the overall plan this year.