Niagara College held a special grand opening celebration today to recognize the donors and supporters who have contributed to the $80-million transformation of the Welland Campus.
Dignitaries, supporters and donors gathered to mark the completion of the largest capital expansion in Niagara College history, which has seen the construction of six new or expanded buildings along with extensive changes to the campus grounds.
Among the new facilities at the Welland Campus are an athletic centre, student centre, learning commons, academic wing (Simcoe Building expansion), technology expansion, and the $40-million Applied Health Institute – a project that was funded equally by the Government of Canada through its Knowledge Infrastructure program and the Government of Ontario through its 2009 Budget.
The project includes a focus on sustainable technologies and creates important community connections – including a landscaping strategy that creates a vibrant urban park that can be enjoyed by the entire community.
“Our vision for a transformed Welland Campus was years in the making, and it’s designed to create more than 1,700 new spaces in programs that serve key industries in Niagara, Ontario, and Canada,” said Niagara College President Dan Patterson. “This transformation is also designed to support key strategic priorities in our community, including the pursuit of life sciences and health care initiatives, sports tourism, and the promotion of healthy, active lifestyles.”
The Welland Campus redevelopment is part of the College’s $90-million Master Plan which also includes new buildings at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus. In addition to the federal and provincial investments, the project has received support from Niagara Region and the City of Welland, and is also being funded by NC’s $16.5-million Building Futures Campaign. This includes a $10-million commitment over 15 years from Niagara College students.
“We’re grateful for the support from all levels of government and the many contributors to our Building Futures Campaign,” said Patterson. “We also want to acknowledge those other generous donors over the years who have supported our previous campaigns for improved facilities, as well as those who have donated equipment, and funded scholarships and bursaries to help our students.”
A new donor wall has been installed in the new Applied Health Institute which lists donors who have contributed $5,000 or more since the Niagara College Foundation was formed in 1989. The wall lists 384 donors whose collective giving exceeds $30 million.
Speakers at the event included The Hon. Rob Nicholson, Niagara Falls MP, and Minister of Justice and Attorney General; The Hon. Jim Bradley, St. Catharines MPP and Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services; Gary Burroughs, Chair, Niagara Region; Barry Sharpe, Mayor of Welland; Len Crispino, Chair, Niagara College Board of Governors; Garrett Lehman, Student Representative on the Niagara College Foundation Board; and Dan Patterson, President of Niagara College.
Today’s event is part of a series of events that will culminate in the historic community Grand Opening – “It’s a G.O.” The event takes place May 26 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., and the college will welcome the entire community to tour its newly transformed campus. The family-friendly event will feature a vintage car show; beer, wine and food from NC’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute; free concerts with local bands; children’s activities run by Niagara Kids’ College; a fireworks display; and more.
Niagara College offers more than 90 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Falls and St. Catharines. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, horticulture and esthetics. For more information, visit www.NiagaraCollege.ca
For information, contact:
Director, Marketing & Communications
905 735-2211 ext. 7567
905 650-7820 (cell)