Centennial College breaks ground at Downsview aerospace campus with funding commitment

TORONTO, Nov. 21, 2016 /CNW/ - Centennial College broke ground at its distinct Aerospace Campus today with the help of the Hon. Minister of Science Kristy Duncan and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.

Minister Duncan was on hand to announce the project will receive $18.4 million in Strategic Investment Funds from Ottawa, while the Ontario government has contributed $25.8 million, to relocate the college's aviation programs to the site at Downsview Park. The project is seen as the first step towards creating an aerospace training and research hub for the development of new technologies in Ontario.

The four-acre campus will serve as the new home of Centennial's aerospace technology programs in what is the historic site of de Havilland of Canada, an indelible part of Canada's aviation heritage. The project repurposes the de Havilland building, located at 65 Carl Hall Rd., with selective demolition and new construction to create approximately 138,000 square feet of instruction space.

The $72-million project includes construction of a new hangar that is large enough to accommodate today's commercial jets. Centennial College currently trains about 300 aircraft technicians and avionics technicians annually at its Ashtonbee Campus in Scarborough. The move to Downsview will provide a much larger teaching space with access to working runways. Enrolment is expected to grow to more than 900 students; program graduates are in demand across Canada and around the world.

The new campus will house an innovation and research working group that brings together industry leaders and academic partners, including University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, Ryerson University, York University, Bombardier and others. The campus will anchor the Downsview Aerospace Innovation and Research (DAIR) Cluster, which will work to maintain Canada's fifth-place ranking as an aerospace supplier to the world.

When the rehabilitation of the de Havilland building is completed in 2018, it will offer classrooms, laboratory space, workshops, hanger space, offices, a library and food service all under one roof. Given its heritage significance, the existing structure and historic brickwork, which dates back to 1929, will require specialized restoration trades for successful integration into the overall building renovation.

SOURCE Centennial College

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


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