Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Melanie Mark visited the Campbell River campus of North Island College (NIC) on Monday to see how its new trades training facilities are coming along. .
“It’s really exciting for me to be back in Campbell River to visit with students and listen to them talk about their future possibilities,” Mark said in a release from NIC. “Investments such as the new trades training facilities at North Island College will help educate and train a new generation of British Columbians. Pursuing a career in the trades is a great career choice for people who want a good-paying job, while helping us to build the best BC.”
Mark toured the Campbell River campus, had lunch catered by NIC Professional Cook students, then met with students in NIC’s culinary kitchens, practical nursing classroom, electrical, industrial automation shops. She also met students in a new Trades Sampler program, which in collaboration with the Campbell River School District exposes students to a broad range of trades over four months.
The Campbell River campus expansion, announced last January, will provide almost 10,000 sq. metres (105,000 sq. ft.) of new and renovated space. It will provide new spaces for Heavy Duty Mechanical and Aircraft Structures Technician students, provide new trades classroom spaces, a redesigned library and an updated Student Commons for students to study, relax and connect outside of the classroom.
“This expansion will transform the campus and provide enriched learning opportunities for students to learn and work in their own communities,” said NIC President John Bowman in the release. “It is NIC’s largest facilities expansion project since opening the new Campbell River campus in 1997 and we want to thank the provincial government for investing in Campbell River’s future with us.”
The project will also include a new teaching kitchen, cafeteria and bistro facilities, student showers and a state of the art aquaculture lab for learning and applied research. All NIC students in Campbell River will also receive improved access to advisors, Elders, counsellors and student supports due to the renovation, the school says.
The upgrade is funded through the Strategic Investment Fund, with $8.56 million from the provincial government, $5.76 million from the federal government and $3.3 million from NIC itself.