Significant improvements to the House of Cedar trades building at Northwest Community College are expected to be announced this Friday.

Renovations expected for northwestern B.C. college

Focus is to be the trades building at Northwest Community College Terrace campus

  • Tue Sep 20th, 2016 8:00am
  • News

ADVISORIES are going out this week tied to what’s expected to be a major announcement this Friday of money for an extensive renovation of Northwest Community College’s aging trades building at its campus here.

The announcement of provincial and federal money for the renovations project follows a long-standing request by the college for improvements to the trades building first opened in the late 1960s.

In 2012 the college laid out an ambitious plan for a new $45 million trades training building project of 120,000 square feet and began lobbying the province for approval.

But that plan has since been scaled back to one of significant renovations to the trades building.

During a visit here the end of March, provincial advanced education minister Andrew Wilkinson said financial approvals for a project were slowly working their way up through the province’s spending plans.

The project had been within the province’s 10-year capital projects spending plan and was then moved to its three-year projects planning list so that more detailed costs and scope could be determined.

The planning includes moving trades students and programs out of the building during renovations so as not to disturb classes.

How that is to be done and its effects on other programs and services has occupied college planners for some time.

Topping those plans is the future of the college’s longhouse, Waap Galts’ap, a $2 million structure finished in 2010 and originally intended to be the college’s focus for its aboriginal students and associated services.

But it has never quite reached that level and is regarded as being underutilized since it opened.

The college earlier this year held a series of internal and external meetings to ask what it can better do to provide a wide range programs and to improve the academic and social life of students.

“With the support of federal and provincial funding opportunities, the NWCC Terrace campus has the imminent opportunity to improve facilities that will meet these regional training needs,” read a portion of a follow up report prepared by the college in July.