Centennial College expansion plan receives $35-million federal and provincial investment



    TORONTO, May 29 /CNW/ - Thanks to a $35-million infrastructure investment
by the federal and Ontario governments announced today, Centennial College is
moving ahead with a visionary plan to construct a new library and classrooms
at Progress Campus, which will add much-needed academic space for an expanding
student population.
    The 104,600-square-foot building will include a full-service library -
replacing a smaller, older facility - as well as 22 additional classrooms, lab
space and a large lecture theatre. The library project is supported by the
Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP), a federal-provincial initiative to
renew Canada's college and university campuses.
    "We're delighted by the news that our bold library project has earned
financial support from two levels of government," says Ann Buller, Centennial
College President and CEO. "It's wonderful to see our colleges recognized by
both Ottawa and Queen's Park for helping to develop the advanced skills so
essential to Canada's growth."
    Under KIP, Ontario will invest $27.7 million towards the new building.
The federal government will also provide $7.3 million in support. The college
will contribute $5.8 million towards the project, which has an overall cost of
$46 million and is expected to create about 460 construction jobs.
    "Scarborough Southwest MPP Lorenzo Berardinetti was instrumental in
helping us secure our funding, along with his colleague MPPs and MPs
representing Scarborough," says Buller. "I'd also like to acknowledge the
advocacy work of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges and Colleges
Ontario for making our case before two governments that have been weighing the
benefits of various strategic investments."
    The new library will offer state-of the-art technology with both in-house
and remote access to digital resources, as well as print and visual media
collections. The learning-centred environment will be open, dynamic and
physically adaptable to accommodate various needs. A 'Learning Commons' will
function as a gathering place offering a gallery, small performance area and
classrooms with instructional technology and presentation technology suites.
    Construction is scheduled to begin in August, with occupancy slated for
as early as the summer of 2011. The Ministry of Training, Colleges and
Universities allocated $5 million in 2008 to begin preliminary site planning
and space requirement assessments, making the project "shovel-ready."
    "Our government's investment provides significant short-term economic
stimulus in local communities throughout Ontario, while at the same time
strengthening Canada's long-term capacity for research and innovation," says
Tony Clement, Federal Minister of Industry. "The renewal of college and
university facilities will encourage more world-class researchers to work in
Canada and give them the tools they need to make further discoveries that will
benefit Canadians and people around the world."
    The new library is part of a $143.5-million rejuvenation plan for
Ontario's oldest college. Other components include a Skills and Apprenticeship
Development Centre and a student residence building. Already coping with a
space crunch, Centennial is planning for additional enrolment growth when its
campuses are linked by Toronto's proposed light-rail transit lines.




For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Mark Toljagic, Communications
Officer, Centennial College, (416) 289-5000, ext. 7142 or (416) 605-6012,
mtoljagic@centennialcollege.ca


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