LAWRENCETOWN: The construction of a new residence at the Strait Area Campus in Port Hawkesbury will help grow the college’s footprint, expand programming and better respond to the demands of growth.
The $7 million, 51-bed, 20,000 square foot residence will allow the campus to serve a broader range of students and clients through both its existing range of programs and potential program additions.
Premier Stephen McNeil unveiled $24 million in expansion projects for three Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) Campuses at the college’s Centre of Geographic Sciences at the Annapolis Valley Campus in Lawrencetown on April 8.
“Nova Scotia Community College has a solid track record of training Nova Scotians to contribute to our province as work-ready graduates, inventors, entrepreneurs and community leaders,” McNeil said. “Investing in the infrastructure that supports students and faculty today will continue to position NSCC and Nova Scotia as leaders in post-secondary skills training.”
The Strait Area Campus is home to the Nautical Institute, Canada’s premiere sea school that offers Transport Canada-approved marine training for students. Looking to expand on its offerings at the Nautical Institute, Strait Area Campus principal Tom Gunn said he is extremely grateful to start conquering a major student issue.
“As we listened to our students, affordable accommodations are really a major issue,” he told The Reporter Monday afternoon. “We have more and more people at this campus who do not live in the area, this residence certainly won’t meet all of the demand, but we’re very grateful as this is a good start.”
Gunn is anticipating a “pretty aggressive timeline” on the construction, which is scheduled to begin late spring, early summer and they expect the residence to be move-in ready by September 2020.
McNeil explained the residence will allow the Strait Area Campus to continue to enhance Nautical Institute programming and continue to drive student growth.
“It will provide an opportunity for the global community, who continues to send people here, to be trained, and that we will ensure they will have a piece of infrastructure that when we welcome them to the Strait area, they will be able to be housed, and continue to collaborate with us.”
The construction of the four-level, 51-bed residence that features single rooms in apartment-style suites, has been a priority for the campus for years as a away to supplement rental options in the area.
“I think it’s really meeting a need that’s already there, our goal is to have a good steady enrollment and keep growing,” Gunn highlighted. “We have an incredible facility here, and we have more announcements to come.”
He also indicated some of the exterior design on the building will honour the Mi’kmaq culture and the residential school survivors, something he said the college is “very mindful” about.
Don Bureaux, NSCC’s president, said the new centres and residences will support important high-demand industry and training needs, with the investment in the college’s sites is also an investment in the three local campus communities.
“We’re looking forward to the exciting possibilities these new spaces and resources will create for students to open doors to exciting careers in growing sectors of our economy and have the space to collaborate with business on research and applied learning.”