With the benefit of a $17.3-million investment from the Alberta government, progress is being made on the WHT Mead Building, says Lakeland College as they aim to open this fall. The facility will become the academic hub for almost all of Lakeland’s 550-plus agricultural sciences students.
Officials have seen an increase in ag science enrollment of over 200 per cent in the last 12 years.
Dr. Alice Wainwright-Stewart, president and CEO of Lakeland College in expressing their gratitude to the provincial government noted the project ensures they can accommodate new programming and increase student access in preparation for the next generation of agriculture leaders.
Lakeland College is debuting three new programs this academic year, including Canada’s first bachelor of agriculture technology degree and this fall, agribusiness expands to five specialties of agri-food and tourism, finance, marketing, production, and sustainability.
Originally built in 1964, the revamped 35,214 square foot WHT Mead building will feature classrooms, collaboration spaces, and faculty offices for in-person and virtual learning. Officials add it will house the Student-Managed Farm – Powered by New Holland headquarters, which is a planning space for animal science technology and crop technology students who manage Lakeland’s crop, livestock and research units. Also, hundreds of environmental sciences and human services
students will use the facility. Continuing education courses, community meetings, and industry-hosted events will also be held in the WHT Mead Building.
Since 2016, Lakeland College with help from donors, government and industry partners has been leading upgrades at the Vermilion campus, beginning with the G.N. Sweet Livestock Research Facility and culminating with the opening of its Agriculture Technology Centre last year.