Camosun's new trades facility approved by Saanich

Camosun College received approval from Saanich Municipal Council last night, Monday, January 13, to move forward on the construction of its new $30 million Centre for Trades Education and Innovation at Interurban campus.

Camosun is the largest provider of trades training on Vancouver Island and the second largest in BC. The college currently trains over 2,200 students each year in 20 different trades foundation and apprenticeship programs.

"With a looming skills shortage across the province and an urgent need for developing a diverse and highly trained workforce, this new facility and related upgrades to our 40-year-old buildings will enable Camosun to better meet the existing demand for skilled trades workers especially in those emerging trades central to our local economy, such as ship building and marine trades, resource infrastructure, sustainable construction and manufacturing technology," says Camosun's Vice President of Administration and Chief Financial Officer Peter Lockie.

"Last year, the Ministry of Advanced Education provided Camosun with close to $30 million for the project," explains Lockie. "This funding, along with additional support from the federal government and local industry and donors, will allow us to:

  • construct a new 80,000 square foot facility to LEED gold standards that includes a new Marine and Metal Trades Centre to house welding, sheet metal, metal fabrication and ship building and repair programs and a new Mechanical Trades Centre to house heavy duty/commercial truck transport mechanics and automotive service technician programs;

  • repurpose the current Jack White Trades Building as a Sustainable Construction and Renewable Energy Trades Centre to house electrical, plumbing and pipe trades, and future renewable energy programs;

  • repurpose the current John Drysdale Trades Building by expanding space for research and innovation services for industry, as well as space for carpentry and joinery trades;

  • expand yard space for hands-on student construction projects and outdoor storage;

  • provide critical electrical upgrades to existing trades buildings."

The building has been designed by B+H Architects Inc. and the construction tender is scheduled to go out shortly with a closing date of late February. The general contractor for the project will be named soon after with construction expected to start before March.

"This new facility will help propel our region to the very forefront of trades education and innovation:  graduates will emerge with the latest in-demand skills; employers will have their pick of well-qualified, job-ready workers; and, Camosun will continue to strengthen its role as a key economic driver," says Lockie.

"With the support of government, industry and community our vision is to ensure our local students have the most up-to-date skills, equipment, technology and state-of-the-art facilities to allow them to develop successful career paths and contribute to a prosperous economy. This will provide great returns to our municipality, our region and industry, with a workforce that is well-trained and ready to contribute to the local and provincial economy," he adds.

Camosun trades students go on to become carpenters, welders, plumbers and pipefitters, electricians, automotive service technicians, furniture makers, horticulture technicians, heavy duty mechanics, professional chefs, ship builders and more. Alumni are currently working in BC and around the globe for companies that include: BC Hydro, Department of National Defense, Viking Air, BC Ferries, BC Transit, and Seaspan Victoria Shipyards.

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