Construction of the Gary W. Harris Centre for Health, Wellness & Sport is underway. The project is on time and on budget and will open in fall, 2018. This will ensure Red Deer College is ready to do our part in hosting the 2019 Canada Winter Games.
On March 11, our Premier and Minister of Advanced Education attended a construction launch event at RDC to announce the Government of Alberta’s contribution of $20 million to the Harris Centre. I applaud the Government for supporting this project that will put 2,200 Albertans to work.
Our partners in construction are experienced and community-focused, and support for the project has been incredible. The generous gift of $5 million from Gary Harris, support from the Canada Winter Games Host Society and The City of Red Deer, as well as NOVA Chemicals, Red Deer County, Lacombe County, Hockey Alberta and others, ensures the Centre will be an iconic landmark for central Alberta and our College.
It is rare for one act of courage and commitment to capture the imagination. During the March 11 event, our RDC Students’ Association President, Maryanne McGrath, announced on behalf of students that the SA would donate $500,000 to the project. The announcement drew a standing ovation from the standing room only crowd. In all my years as President, this will go down as a moment I will never forget. Ms. McGrath made a strong plea for Polytechnic University, as well.
The need for RDC to achieve degree-granting status by becoming a Polytechnic University was heard by our Premier and Minister of Advanced Education. Our Mayor, Board Chair and Students’ Association President made it clear this is what central Albertans need to ensure continued economic, cultural and social growth in our region.
We are grateful for the community’s overwhelming support of this important next step in the evolution and growth of your college.
President & CEO, RDC