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SAIT unveils design of new Trades and Technology Complex


September 4, 2009
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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West wing view“Innovative, bold, breathtaking and ‘wow’ ” were some of the words being used to describe the design of SAIT Polytechnic’s new Trades and Technology Complex (TTC) unveiled at the Calgary institution’s main campus, according to SAIT.

More than 200 people attended the event, including Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach; Doug Horner, Alberta Minister of Advanced Education and Technology and MLA for Spruce Grove-Sturgeon-St.Albert; Jim Prentice, Canada’s Minister of the Environment and Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre-North; and Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier.

The design's unveiling“The Trades and Technology Complex will be transformational – dramatically changing the look of SAIT’s main campus, particularly along 16th Avenue,” says Irene Lewis, SAIT president and CEO. “The design truly reflects SAIT’s history, accommodates the present and is adaptable to the future of polytechnic education. The Trades and Technology Complex will benefit generations to come.””

Completion of the TTC is set for 2012. It will be composed of three buildings providing the campus with more than 700,000 sq.-ft. of additional training spaces primarily in the areas of energy, construction and manufacturing. Design of the buildings emphasizes an innovative, flexible and more integrated approach to trades and technical training – intended to reflect real life workplaces.”

Centre wing viewThe complex will – in the language of the post-secondary environment – add another 3,600 “full-load equivalents,” or “student spaces,” to SAIT. For prospective students, that translates into 8,100 more apprentice and full and part-time learner opportunities each year.”” Those numbers represent a 50-per-cent increase in SAIT apprenticeship opportunities and nearly a 30-per-cent increase for enrolment in certificate, diploma and applied degree programs.

“This complex, with its contemporary design, will play an important role in addressing the province’s long-term skilled labour needs,” said Premier Ed Stelmach. “This facility provides an opportunity for students to learn in a unique and innovative environment that reflects the realities of today’s workplace.”

Flexibility is also important, says Gibbs.””The needs of industry change.”The mix of training provided by SAIT could be far different in 10 or 20 years. These buildings are designed to accommodate that.” They take a holistic approach to education.”

“This is a very significant investment for Calgary made in a critical time of economic turbulence. I am thrilled to see SAIT Polytechnic adding this world-class facility to its already impressive campus,” said Mayor Bronconnier.

Construction of the Trades and Technology Complex is already well underway. The total planned cost is $445 million. To date, $342 million has been raised or committed, including $300 million from the Government of Alberta and $4 million from the Government of Canada.
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