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New $30 million TRU engineering building announced

Thompson Rivers University president Dr. Alan Shaver speaks at a media conference, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, announcing funding for a new building for trades and technology training.
September 20, 2016 - 11:38 AM

KAMLOOPS - The federal and provincial government have announced they will invest $30-million in a new industrial training and technology centre at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.

The joint investment was announced today, Sept. 20, by several dignataries including local MLAs Terry Lake and Todd Stone. The funding will allow TRU to build a new 5,344-square-metre building that will allow the university to expand its trades and technology programs by an additional 550 full-time student spaces, according to a B.C. government media release.

The building is a big piece of the engineering school the university is seeking, vice president of advancement Chris Seguin says.

"It'll access both the trades training that we do here, but also our science training," he says. "Also, the new home of our growing engineering program."

The building announcement is a big piece of a more prominent engineering school TRU administration has been pushing for for awhile, he says.

"Right now we have a two year transfer program, but we're in the planning process for the third and fourth year," he syas. "We're seeking funding from the public and the private to putogether a full four year engineering program."

The school won't need to seek funding for a building now, though, Seguin says, as today's announced structure can house the classes.

"This facility will house a lot of those students and a lot of those labs that we'll need to teach the relevant curriculum so this is a huge springboard towards that program," he says. "Our ongoing ask no longer has a building involved, this covers it."

There are currently more than 1,500 seats in construction trades, mechanical trades, industrial electrician and industrial instrumentation technology programs at TRU.

The additional 550 seats will be added to existing programs and new programs like a power engineering diploma, an HVAC/refrigeration technician program and an industrial process technician and instrumentation engineering diploma.

Part of the funding will also go toward renovating the existing School of Trades and Technology building, which will be used by the architectural and engineering technology program, which will allow the program to offer a fourth year and will have dedicated labs, classrooms and faculty offices within the current trades building, the release says.

The federal government is contributing $13.25 million and the provincial government is spending $7.03 million. The federal portion is the largest ever contribution to TRU Seguin says.

The rest of the $30 million will be made up by TRU and donors, according to the release.

Construction is expected to get underway in early 2017 and complete by spring 2018, with occupancy in the fall of 2018.

"It's aggressive and ambitious, but we've done this before," Seguin says.

Currently the school is hiring architects and has requests for proposals out. The federal government's portion of funding hinges on the building being substatially done in 18 months.

The construction of the new building is expected to create nearly 200 jobs.

— This story was updated at 12:32 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016 to include more information.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brendan Kergin or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2016

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