BCIT announces $33-million for new trades and technology complex

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) has received $33 million to build a new Trades and Technology Complex that will increase access for students pursuing trades and technology careers. Features will include the Concert Properties Centre for Trades and Technology, the Robert Bosa Carpentry Pavilion, and the Marine and Mass Timber Workshop.

The $220 million complex will provide an adaptive, innovative, and flexible learning environment through leading-edge, energy-efficient, sustainable design. It will have capacity for 700 new full-time student spots annually, alleviating waitlists, and delivering the trades training needed to meet the labour needs of the province. Also, a living lab will bring students together from various disciplines–such as engineering, architecture and construction.

“The generosity and support of donors has made this incredible project possible and ensured continued strength in BCIT’s unique offering,” said Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, president, BCIT. “As the only BC post-secondary with a provincial mandate for strategic workforce development, BCIT connects education, industry, and government in support of building an agile workforce with sustained and meaningful impact to meet the labour market needs of today and tomorrow.”

The Province of BC says more than 85,000 new trades jobs are expected over the next 10 years.

Contributions from over 45 organizations and individuals towards the construction of the Trades and Technology Complex demonstrates the incredible connectivity and collaboration between BCIT and industry.

When complete, BCIT will be able to expand  in-person training and increase delivery of immersive training for specialized areas, including mass timber construction and net-zero buildings. It will also increase capacity for designing and delivering effective online training through simulation labs and sophisticated technology-enabled classrooms.

Features for advancing education through the Trades and Technology Complex will include:

  • Four covered work yards
  • Simulation-based learning areas
  • Cross-disciplinary sim labs for trades and technology collaboration
  • Power engineering sim lab–Kongsberg system
  • Welding simulation lab
  • Industrial network sim lab–industry partnership space
  • Media centre lab–for remote/ online/ narrowcasting education delivery
  • Maker space
  • Classrooms, student commons, demonstration, observation, auxiliary and atrium spaces

More than 45 BC industry leaders and individuals across a range of sectors, including development, electrical, engineering, mining and forestry, have contributed through BCIT’s INSPIRE Campaign, the largest fundraising campaign in the Institute’s history. Donors include organizations such as Concert Properties, Bosa Construction, Wesgroup, Wheaton Precious Metals, Polygon Homes and more. Donor participation in this project has included financial support as well as involvement in the development of programming to directly meet industry needs.

“The BCIT curriculum is developed in close consultation with industry, and delivered by faculty with direct, hands-on experience in their fields,” said Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, president, BCIT. “The BCIT INSPIRE Campaign will allow us to continue to lead in providing applied learning opportunities.

“BCIT students learn through practical experience in unique environments that integrate real-world settings, equipment, and technology from the workplace. These include state-of-the-art classrooms, shops, labs, simulators, broadcast studios, green roofs, energy grids, forests, and waterways.”

For more information about BCIT’s Trade and Technology Complex, visit https://www.bcit.ca/inspire/priorities/campus-redevelopment/trades-technology-complex/, and for more information about BCIT’s INSPIRE Campaign, visit https://www.bcit.ca/inspire/.

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