To all Niagara College staff and students:
I am pleased to share some very exciting news with you.
The Honourable Tony Clement, Federal Minister of Industry, and the Honourable John Milloy, Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, today announced $40 million in infrastructure funding – $20 million each – for Niagara College’s new Applied Health Institute. The announcement was made at a joint federal/provincial media conference held at Brock University today, where investments totalling $1.476 billion for infrastructure projects at post-secondary institutions throughout Ontario were announced.
The federal/provincial funding announced today is the largest funding announcement in Niagara College’s history, and is a significant enhancement to our comprehensive campus redevelopment master plan. Today’s announcement is the result of an incredible amount of work in a very short period of time by a large number of people here at Niagara College, who came together to develop a very successful funding proposal for both the Federal and Provincial governments.
The construction of the new Applied Health Institute is a major leap forward for our College, and will truly position the college as a leader, accommodating key health programs, applied research, and related community health services in a new integrated facility on the Welland Campus.
The Applied Health Institute, designed to anticipate the future healthcare training needs of the Niagara Region and the province of Ontario, provides for the establishment of permanent facilities for the Registered Practical Nurse and Personal Support Worker programs (programs that must vacate their current leased St. Catharines facilities in 2010). The new Applied Health Institute will add 100,000 sq ft of new classrooms and labs, expanding space in existing applied health programs including Paramedics, Therapeutic Recreation, Pharmacy Assistant, Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene.
The new Institute will also allow for the launch of new programs serving the health and wellness of the Niagara Region, including potential programs such as Occupational Therapist/Physiotherapist Assistant, Gerontology, Addictions Counseling, Mental Health Worker, Children’s Mental Health Worker, and Elder Care Advocate.
Extensive planning for the Applied Health Institute has already taken place. The project is in the design phase, with construction beginning by August 2009, and completion targeted for February 2011.
This is incredible news for Niagara College and the Niagara Region. It will further enhance our campus re-development project, and significantly strengthens our ability to deliver the highly-skilled, job-ready graduates who support healthcare in Niagara and Ontario.
A media release regarding today’s announcement is available online at www.niagaracollege.ca/news, and architect’s renderings of the Applied Health Institute are available for viewing at www.niagaracollege.ca/masterplan/appliedhealth_media.htm