College Beat: RDC building projects updated

Red Deer College has been busy this past year putting the final touches on three major capital projects. As they near completion, excitement is building. (Pun intended).

First, the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre/Centre des Jeux du Canada Gary W. Harris. We anticipate construction to be completed by the end of May 2018. We will take the summer to furnish it, add all the equipment needed for our programs, and work the kinks out before opening it to our students and our communities in late August. As beautiful as it is on the outside, the inside is even more so.

In preparation for the 2019 Canada Winter Games, and as a partner in hosting the Canada Winter Games, Red Deer College will host pre-Games events in the fall and winter of 2018. The events and dates are listed below:

l Squash | Sept. 27 to 30, 2018

l Speed Skating – Short Track | Oct. 11 to 14, 2018

l Figure Skating | Oct. 30 to Nov. 4, 2018

l Badminton | November – December 2018 (dates to be confirmed)

l Wheelchair Basketball | Dec. 15 to 17, 2018

Please join us to watch future Olympians compete, and enjoy touring this amazing new facility.

Our second project is in mid-construction. If you drive along 32 Street past RDC’s main campus, you will see our new residence taking shape.

This five-story facility is unique in many ways.

As part of our Green Energy Master Plan, three sides of the residence will be constructed using photovoltaic panels, providing energy savings and reducing our carbon footprint. Another unique feature is the room design. In collaboration with students, designers, and contractors, the spaces demonstrate an incredible attention to detail ensuring maximum utility and flexibility.

Providing students with different housing options ensures unique needs are met including complete accessibility for all who require it. Housing athletes for the 2019 Canada Winter Games will be its first use, and then it will be made available for our students. Construction should be completed by January 2019.

Finally, our third project, the Alternative Energy Lab is nearing completion.

We are in the process of ordering and installing demonstration technology including solar, energy efficient lighting and a few surprises which we will unveil in our opening later this summer.

Our Alternative Energy Lab compliments our Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing in providing opportunities for students, instructors, business, industry and consumers to experience new technologies and determine their applicability for their own use. Watch for our grand opening announcement coming soon.

Finally, an update on our university journey. We have met with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Campus Alberta Quality Council to map our way forward.

Our government partners are fully supportive of the work and are assisting us in its completion. Our next milestone will be our institution’s name change, likely in the next three years.

When that happens we will have demonstrated our readiness to offer our own degrees and will be functioning as a recognized University.

Your support was instrumental in the decision the Premier made March 1.

Your continued support will ensure we create a university in which we can all be proud, and in which our children will choose to attend.

Joel Ward is president & CEO of Red Deer College.

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