KAMLOOPS - Thompson Rivers University is waiting on Victoria to give the go ahead before breaking ground on a new building.
A new 50,000 square foot trades building is waiting for approval from the Ministry of Advanced Education.
The university’s vice president of finance Matt Milovick says the concept and business plans don't have formal approval yet. When the university might get formal approval is a mystery, Milovick says, but he’s hoping to hear positive news in the next couple months so the building can open its doors during the 2017-18 academic year.
“We’d like the building to be open for September 2017 or January 2018. We want doors open January 2018 at the latest,” he says.
The project cost is estimated at $30 million, with the province and university splitting it in half. Milovick says the school is looking to fundraise 20 per cent of its $15 million portion, or about $3 million. He says the rest will be made up of money the university’s savings.
“There wouldn’t be an increased cost to students,” Milovick says.
The $30 million price tag includes equipment for the new building and allows for expansion of current programs and the addition of new ones like instrumentation.
“Instrumentation is about control systems in things like pipelines or oil refineries,” Milovick says. “It’s very much an in demand occupation right now.”
The location of the potential building has already been decided upon, with a plot of land behind the current trades building set aside for the project.
“We want to densify the campus, we want to make the most of our buildable lots,” Milovick says. “It’s a cleared lot used for outdoor storage right now.”
The programs may require new faculty and support staff at the university as well.
Another building project is also in the province’s hands right now. The nursing school could see a structure of its own, if approval comes from the province.
“If there are any infrastructure announcements coming soon we want to have a shovel ready project in hand,” he says “We have a desperate need to build it.”
The nursing school at the university has an annual intake of 90 students, but gets about five times the applicants, Milovick says.
The current nursing school shares space with other programs in the Sciences and Health Sciences building, which was built in the 1980s, he says. That building would be very difficult to renovate or expand and with such high demand for the nursing program.
A plan for a building adjacent to the current location is with the Ministry for Advanced Education.
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