By Jensen, Randy on July 16, 2020.
The province has announced it will fund an additional $3.35 million worth of capital maintenance and renewal work at Lethbridge College, creating an estimated 19 new jobs in the community.
The funding will help upgrade heating and cooling systems in the Paterson Building, first built in 1970.
Additionally, the project will generate new job opportunities for about 19 skilled contractors and tradespeople in the Lethbridge area. While Budget 2020 already includes $118.5 million for capital maintenance and renewal at colleges, universities and polytechnics, funding for this project is part of an additional $98-million commitment, which is expected to create about 533 full-time jobs around the province, the province said in a news release.
“Alberta’s Recovery Plan is an ambitious plan to build, diversity and create jobs. Today’s announcement will create immediate jobs in the Lethbridge area while also ensuring Lethbridge college can continue to offer a variety of academic and apprenticeship options in a safe and comfortable environment,” said Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education. “This investment is one of many projects around the province that demonstrates that our post secondary institutions have a critical role to paly in the economic recovery of our province.”
Lethbridge-East MLA Nathan Neudorf said he’s pleased to see additional funds going to the college.
“As an alumni of Lethbridge College and a tradesman, I love to see responsible investment in this institution. A $3.35-million investment in much-needed mechanical upgrading and deferred maintenance shows the commitment we have in taking care of the infrastructure that is needed to train and develop the next generation of our workforce.”
Lethbridge College president and CEO Paula Burns welcomed the announcement.
“This investment in the revitalization of the Paterson building will ensure a continued safe, modern and energy-efficient learning environment for our students. These types of facilities allow our passionate and committed educators to focus on providing the relevant, high-quality education that prepares our students for the jobs that support the local and provincial economy.”
In April, the Alberta government announced it was accelerating the capital plan and increasing capital maintenance and renewal spending in 2020-21 to almost $2 billion. Advanced Education worked with post-secondary institutions to identify projects, with a focus on addressing existing maintenance issues, ensuring compliance with building codes and regulations, increasing access to services, and reducing operational costs. Government also prioritized projects that will help create jobs, and are ready for work to begin.
The Lethbridge College project is part of the more than $10 billion in infrastructure spending announced as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan.