Malaspina to get $21 Million Campus Upgrade

May 18, 2000 - 5:00pm

NANAIMO - The south Nanaimo campus of Malaspina University-College will undergo a major redevelopment due to the approval of more than $21 million in provincial capital funding.

Advanced Education Minister Graeme Bowbrick and Nanaimo MLA Dale Lovick made the announcement today at a groundbreaking ceremony at the university-college.

"Malaspina University-College is the educational and cultural centre of this community," said Lovick. "Vocational programs, in particular, are one of the cornerstones of the university-college and have a rich history in the Nanaimo area, dating back to B.C.'s first vocational school which opened in this area more than 60 years ago.

"Today, we are providing funding for the development of new state-of-the-art facilities to replace the old pre-war huts which have housed these programs since the early days. This funding will ensure that Malaspina's vocational facilities are of the same high quality as those enjoyed by other programs."

The new five-storey Applied Studies Training and Educational Centre will house the university-college's health and human services programs, such as nursing and dental-related studies, as well as the applied studies programs which include information technology and other business and computer-based fields of study.

Funds will also be used to construct a new heavy-duty mechanics, carpentry programs and trades shop, as well as a new physical plant complex, and will provide for the renovation of the welding shop and a facility for the hairdressing program. Along with renovations to the lower campus food services area, a major site upgrading will also take place.

"Malaspina plays a crucial role in our strategy to increase access to post-secondary education on Vancouver Island," said Bowbrick. "This institution has rapidly grown into a major centre of learning in our province, and is responsible for extending more opportunities to people to gain diplomas and degrees without being forced to relocate away from their homes and their communities."

The $21-million capital project will provide approximately 9,290 square metres of state-of-the-art instructional space for vocational and academic programs and, once completed, will mark the end of the final phase of MUC's long-range expansion plan, developed in 1992.

"The new facilities we are building here will ensure Malaspina has the best teaching environment available to serve its students," said Richard Johnston, university-college president. "This new campus development will support this institution's ability to grow, by creating the space to allow for even more students attracted by the high quality of Malaspina's programs and instructors."

Immediate release of $4.25 million will provide for consulting services such as design, development costs and other charges for site preparation. Construction is expected to begin shortly after exams end in May, with plans for the new facilities to be fully operational by the fall of 2001.

Tags: In the Community

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