Wider Horizons
Wondering just what all this money is being raised to support? The five projects outlined here showcase the innovative and responsive planning Lethbridge College has embraced as it moves into its sixth decade.

The planned trades and technology facility is an ambitious project, one of the largest in the city’s history. The 165,270-square-foot project will be built with the goal of supporting more than 880 new students (a 65 per cent increase in current capacity) across eight trade areas and four technology programs.

The new facility will allow the college to double its current trades and technology capacity. The focus in this new facility will be both on traditional trades as well as new technologies, such as alternative energy programs including solar, geothermal and wind energy.

The project is estimated to cost $65 million. Following a pre-election commitment in May 2012 of $55.6 million to support the project, the provincial government announced last March that the first round of funding would be $18 million over three years. The college is currently working with the government to determine the plans for budgeting the remainder of the government-provided funds.

The project has also received enthusiastic support from the community to move ahead on this facility.

“We are thrilled with the level of community support we are receiving for TTRIP,” says Joyanne A. Mitchell, Development and Alumni Relations manager. “From the ‘transformational’ gifts such as the $2 million donation from the Crooks family in 2009 to the $1 million donation from the Lethbridge and District Auto Dealers Association in 2011, to partnerships with business and industry, to the commitments our staff members have made providing donations through the Family Campaign, it is obvious the entire community recognizes the urgent and compelling need for our new trades and technology facility.”

The existing trades structure at Lethbridge College is composed of a series of buildings constructed between 1962 and 1977. The newest buildings are by far older than most of the students attending classes there. Despite advances made over the years by instructors and equipment meeting the changing demands of industry, the buildings have simply outlived their expected lifespans.

The college has been able to extend the life of these buildings through a “Warm, Safe and Dry” project, which replaced a leaking roof and some single-paned windows, contained asbestos and improved air quality and lighting. But these bandages did not address the long-term needs of today’s programs.

Once complete, the new facility will become a centre that fosters interdisciplinary innovation among students, instructors and industry partners. It will bring together students, faculty and industry to create a more vibrant learning environment that explores emerging trends in sustainable design and technologies. Using simulated technologies, such as the virtual welder showcased on page 28, and by engaging in applied research, students and faculty will become the driving force in Alberta’s knowledge economy.

The college will provide facilities and opportunities to support new and emerging trends in trades and technology programs and practices, including skills simulation and new equipment for both training and applied research. Alberta has been caught short before, when boom times opened opportunities for growth but a shortage of skilled employees hampered potential.

The Learning Commons ($17 million)

The concept Lethbridge College has in mind for the Buchanan Library will provide the comfort, connections and knowledge found in libraries of old with the cutting edge technologies that will be needed in libraries of the future. Today’s libraries are more important than ever, especially at colleges and universities. They are a dynamic, ever-expanding part of any successful post-secondary institution and must entice students inside and excite them with their possibilities.

This project encompasses more than 45,000 square feet of renewal, renovation and construction. The Buchanan Library will become the heart of Lethbridge College, a focal point of learning for the entire institution. It will still provide conventional library services, but will expand its support services for students and faculty. The renovation will provide break-out rooms and study areas, affording students spaces to engage with others to expand their learning, or to quietly focus by themselves.

The newly evolved library will also be the future home of the Buchanan Art Collection, which includes 12 Group of Seven paintings and the works of other key Canadian artists. The Learning Café, an autonomous “library within a library” that provides additional space and resources for more direct instructor-student interaction and support, will also be housed in the Learning Commons.

Kodiak House student residence ($13.5 million)

Students come to Lethbridge College from across Canada and from around the globe. The college would like to increase its global campus community, but Lethbridge’s notoriously low vacancy rate makes this a challenge. To assist in alleviating this housing crisis, the college has built a residence that has helped shorten wait lists, allowing for more students to learn on campus, live in the community and fulfill their dreams.

The five-storey residence contains 109 low-cost individual rooms, raising to 500 the number of students the college can house on campus, an increase of 25 per cent. Kodiak House has incorporated many green features in its construction, such as solar energy for water heating, prevailing west winds for ventilation, rainwater collection for irrigation and sunshine for natural lighting. It is a residence as interesting as the students who reside there.

Emerging priorities ($5 million)

The requirements of society shift with the wind (quite literally when one considers alternate energy). One of the strengths of Lethbridge College is its ability to sustain relevance and responsiveness to those needs, and fulfill its vision of being green; globally and socially responsible. Gifts directed to Emerging Priorities will allow the college to take action with strategic solutions to real-world problems as the opportunities present themselves.

Student awards ($2.5 million)

Lethbridge College maintains that education should be accessible for anyone with the determination to achieve, not merely the ability to afford. Each year, students receive just under $950,000 through internal and external awards and scholarship programs. To ensure access to all learners, and to ensure that Lethbridge College continues to attract and retain outstanding students, the college aspires to offer its students in excess of $1 million per year in awards and scholarships.

To reach this goal, the college is committed to raising $2.5 million in new scholarships, awards and bursaries. Of that goal, $2 million will be allocated towards new endowments, ensuring the stability and longevity of the college’s awards programs and $500,000 will be allocated to annual initiatives.
Wider Horizons
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