New college campus nears completion

The new High Prairie High Prairie campus of Northern Lakes College as seen on the southwest corner at the main entrance on Highway 2.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Construction of the new Northern Lakes College campus in High Prairie is just a couple of weeks away from being finished.

Crews are in the final stage of the project that started in May 2019.

“Everything inside looks great,” says board chair Daniel Vander- meulen, of High Prairie.

“Students and the community will be very impressed with the new building.”

Work on the site is close to completion.

“The campus project is nearing completion, with turnover expected soon,” says Paul Chaulk, NLC senior director of facilities and ancillary services.

“Once turnover happens, NLC will be installing fixtures, furniture and equipment, with classes planned for early next year.”

He says the building system programming, controls, testing and commissioning is underway.

Another college leader gives the project and building top marks.

“This campus is comparable to learning facilities in urban centres and it is wonderful that learners in the north will have access to such a space,” says Glenn Mitchell, who became president Sept. 1.

“Students and staff will have a beautiful facility in which to learn and work.

“Even the building itself is designed to be a teaching tool with partially exposed infrastructure, geothermal heating, and net-zero- ready status.”

The $24 million project is funded by the Government of Alberta’s investment of $21.6 million, along with $2.4 million committed by the college.

Many unique features are included in the campus building that will serve about 225 students that will support specialized training in health and trades programs.

Northern Lakes welcomes its first culinary arts program in the two-storey 33,000- square-foot building that addresses future growth plans, meets workforce demands in the region and increases campus energy effi- ciency.

It includes three trades labs for carpentry, mechanics, welding and metalwork

The building also includes 33 individual learning suites, 12 classrooms and a health programs lab with space to accommodate up to eight beds.

Another key new feature is open or exposed walls for electrical and geothermal components in some areas, so it will be a teaching tool for students.

Natural wood décor, plenty of natural light, open space and room to grow is also incorporated into the building.

The building is handicapped accessible and includes special attention to female students, First Nations communities, and common areas for students.

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