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Camosun breaks ground on new trades school

Construction of a new trades school kicked off with fanfare this week at Camosun College’s Interurban campus.

The province’s Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk joined faculty, staff and students Monday to break ground on the $30-million trades centre.

“Throughout British Columbia, we are building skills and trades training through targeted investments in infrastructure, equipment and programs,” Virk said.

The Centre for Trades Education and Innovation, a 7,432-square-metre building, will house a marine and metal trades training program that will include welding, sheet metal, metal fabrication, nautical and ship building, and more.

The existing trades facilities will also be refurbished as part of the project. The new facility will accommodate an additional 370 full-time equivalent seats in trades training programs. Currently, the college has more than 2,200 students each year in 20 different trades foundation and apprenticeship programs.

“This new facility will help propel our college and our region to the very forefront of trades education and innovation,” said Camosun president Kathryn Laurin. “Not only will it allow Camosun to expand into new program areas like renewable energy and ship building, but it will provide our trades students the unique opportunity to learn from related disciplines like business and technology, and take part in practical, hands-on experiences through our emerging partnerships with industry.”

The new Centre for Trades Education and Innovation is expected to be complete in the summer 2015. The overall project, including renovation to the existing Jack White and John Drysdale buildings, is expected to be complete in spring 2016.

reporter@saanichnews.com

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