Parkland College conducted a sod-turning ceremony Tuesday in Yorkton to officially mark the start of construction on the Trades and Technology Centre. The new facility is scheduled to open in September 2015.
The 29,000-square-foot facility will be located on 20 acres of prime land donated by the City of Yorkton along the west side of Highway 9 North between Darlington Street and York Road. It will enable Parkland College to produce more than 350 skilled graduates per year in a variety of fields that are experiencing a labour shortage throughout Saskatchewan, such as agriculture/multi-mechanics, power engineering, and welding. The facility will also allow 2,000 workers to upgrade their skills each year.
On hand to welcome donors and guests to the special ceremony and put the first shovel in the ground were Deputy Premier of Saskatchewan and Finance Minister Ken Krawetz, Advanced Education Minister Rob Norris, Yorkton MLA Greg Ottenbreit, Yorkton Mayor Bob Maloney, and Parkland College President Dr. Fay Myers.
“The provincial government has invested record amounts into post-secondary education and we are proud to partner with Parkland College,” Minister Norris said. “The new Trades and Technology Centre will ensure that Parkland students continue to develop the skills needed to transition from learning to earning.”
“I am so glad to celebrate this milestone with our stakeholders, partners, and supporters,” said Dr. Myers. “This is the biggest step yet in the facility’s long journey from concept to reality.”
This project represents a significant expansion of services and program delivery options that are not currently available in the Parkland region. Investments in the project will provide the necessary resources to sustain economic, social, and cultural growth in the region and across Saskatchewan.
The facility, designed by Regina-based A + K Architects, will house a 10,000-square-foot multi-trades shop, science lab, welding lab, power engineering lab, six classrooms, study/tutorial rooms, and administrative space. Yorkton’s own Logan Stevens Construction (2000) Ltd. will build it after being awarded the construction tender at the end of March.
This ambitious project is made possible by a $10 million commitment from the Government of Saskatchewan and a successful capital campaign that has raised almost $5 million from a variety of local and international businesses and community groups.
“Parkland College is committed to delivering the programs and training needed by local businesses and wanted by students,” Dr. Myers said. “We are committed to bringing innovative and diverse training to prepare our region for continued growth and the jobs of the future.”
Since its inception in 1973, Parkland College has worked to expand the philosophy of life-long learning in East Central Saskatchewan. Among the seven basic principles upon which the community college system was founded is the idea that programs are to be developed in response to the needs of the community. Today, Parkland College offers a broad spectrum of educational services from trades training and high school upgrading to the province’s most diverse off-campus university offerings.
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