Lakeland College will soon be modernizing one of their animal science buildings on the Vermilion campus.
The college was awarded with over $17 million by the Alberta government to cover the redevelopment of the WHT Mead Animal Science Centre. The building is being expanded to accommodate more students and classrooms in the agricultural sciences programs. According to the college, enrolment in the programs has grown by 100 per cent since 2010.
Premier Jason Kenney says the investment will pay dividends in Alberta’s farming sector in the future.
“Primary agriculture and agri food processing are only going to be more important to Alberta’s economy in the decades ahead. As the world’s population grows and more people in the developing world join the ranks of the middle class, the demand for safe healthy high-quality food is certain to rise. Alberta’s going to need evermore sophisticated farmers, ag practices and technologies to win a greater share of that growing global market.”
The modernization of the centre follows other recent expansions to program facilities including the Animal Health Clinic and Dairy Learning Centre and the GN Sweet Livestock Research Facility.
Work on the project is set to begin immediately. Lakeland College President and CEO Dr. Alice Wainwright-Stewart says the work will not affect students as they return to campus under their blended learning model.
“We have a contingency plan so that no student is left behind for whatever space they need. We have other spaces we will look at if we can get construction started right away. We will be taking a staggered approached so at no time will this place be at full capacity all at once.”
Most of Lakeland College’s courses will begin on August 31st with an online Orientation Day. Pre-employment programs start September 21st, and the first apprenticeship intake is on October 13th.
The funding is a part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan which sees more than $10 billion being invested in infrastructure projects across the province. The project is expected to create 97 new jobs for contractors and tradespeople in the area.