Countdown 365: Algonquin College opens new trades centre in September 2011
Algonquin College's Dean for the Faculty of Technology and Trades welcomed elected officials, and members of the media, to the Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence (ACCE) construction site for a "behind the scenes" tour and to kick-off the official 365-day countdown to the opening of the new $79-million facility. The Honourable Bob Chiarelli, Ontario's Minister of Infrastructure and M.P.P. for Ottawa West-Nepean; and City Councillor Rick Chiarelli; were on hand for a site tour to see the progress that has been made on the building since the official groundbreaking just 11 months ago. "We are on time, on budget, and extremely pleased to be starting the 365-day countdown to the opening of this uniquely green facility," said Claude Brulé, Dean, Faculty of Technology and Trades, Algonquin College. "This new facility will not only help address the skills shortage in the construction industry, it will be a showcase for green sustainable construction and education in Eastern Ontario." When complete, the ACCE will be visually and functionally different as it aims to be the largest building in Canada to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certified. On top of its 'super green' construction will be a roof comprised of grass-like vegetation and knee-high plants that will look like a green meadow. This will add campus and community greenspace and help create a tight building envelop, thereby lowering the demands on the heating and cooling systems. The construction site is already a learning environment. Algonquin students and faculty have used this opportunity to learn firsthand about the building of a leading-edge environmentally sustainable facility. For example, the coordinator and students from the College's Documentary production program are producing a documentary about the building process that will be used as a training tool in construction trades programs once complete. Also, students in the construction trades programs have been visiting the site regularly to get a taste of a live construction site, and observe materials, processes, and how all the trade disciplines collaborate. Print journalism students are taking advantage of the learning opportunities as well as they were on-site for the "behind the scenes" tour and reporting on it for the first edition of the Fall term in the Algonquin Times. "The partnerships and collaboration that were necessary to make this building a reality is a great model for our students to observe as they make the transition from the College to their career in today's construction workforce," adds Brulé. "The support we have had from government and industry has been just overwhelming." Industry is also excited about the new training and education this facility is designed to deliver. "This new centre will help attract the best and brightest, making the construction industry a first-choice career destination," says Dwight Brown, District Manager, PCL Constructors Canada Inc., and Capital Campaign Chair for the project. Today, the College also launched a new website for the project that features: highlights of the building's unique architectural and sustainability features, a virtual tour, latest news and photos of the progress, and more. You can also find out more about the programs that will make the ACCE their home in September 2011 by visiting www.algonquincollege.com/ACCE.