Waterfront construction a hands-on experience for George Brown College

Building of new waterfront campus serves as a living lab to construction and engineering students

TORONTO, June 22 /CNW/ - Students at George Brown College with a passion for construction, engineering and architecture will have the opportunity to use the development of the College's newest campus as a real-life classroom this summer.

As construction of the campus continues throughout the summer months, students at the College's Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies - and particularly those from the School of Architectural Studies and the School of Construction Management & Trades - will have the opportunity to observe the progress of the structure through site visits or via a live webcam.

The learning opportunity is now available to students of the Centre's summer programs; however, those enrolled in fall- and winter-semester courses will also have the chance to study the building's development online at www.georgebrown.ca/waterfront. The George Brown Waterfront Campus will include applied learning environments within the Centre for Health Sciences through a clinic, simulated practice centre and health promotion hub.

"Our philosophy has always been that students learn much more effectively if you can complement their classroom work with opportunities to see how their newly acquired skills and knowledge can be applied in the real world," said George Brown College President Anne Sado. "It was only natural that we use the development of our waterfront campus to serve as a learning and living lab for our students in the Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies."

The waterfront campus will add 300,000 square feet to the college's Toronto footprint, including a full complement of student services and, with a capacity of 3,500 students, will allow for a growth of more than 1,000 students in the Health Sciences professions alone. The facility will also free up considerable space across existing campuses and permit greater expansion in other high-growth areas, such as Construction and Apprenticeship programs - industries expected to experience an imminent and serious labour shortage. It will also generate approximately 1750 new jobs during the construction phase.

Funding of $91.5 million for this project is being provided by the Government of Canada's Knowledge Infrastructure Program and from the Ontario Government, representing approximately 50 per cent of the total investment required for the first phase of the College's Waterfront development.

The Knowledge Infrastructure Program, a two-year, $2 billion economic stimulus measure to support infrastructure enhancement at Canadian post-secondary institutions is part of the $12 billion in new infrastructure investment allocated under Canada's Economic Action Plan. The program is providing real economic stimulus and employment by creating local jobs for engineers, architects, trades people and technicians. It is also helping to generate the advanced technological infrastructure needed to keep Canada's research and educational facilities at the forefront of scientific advancement.

"Our government's investment in post-secondary infrastructure has given our students and researchers the tools they need to be global leaders in their fields and pursue world-class excellence," said Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (America). "Our government's investments in the knowledge economy strengthen Canada's position as a world leader in science and technology."

The Government of Ontario, in its 2009 budget - Confronting the Challenge: Building Ontario's Economic Future, is committed to investing in infrastructure and has designated $780 million to colleges and universities to modernize facilities and boost long-term research and skills training capacity over the next two years.

"This infrastructure investment at George Brown College reconfirms Ontario's place as a world-leading education provider. Through the Open Ontario Plan, our government has emphasized the need to combat the skills shortages in key industries," said MPP Glen Murray. "This project represents a significant step forward in ensuring that the knowledge economy will continue to grow in Ontario, which will ensure that our province remains a world leader in the future."

Students who observe the ongoing construction of the new campus will not only learn about the fundamentals of their trade, but will have the chance to see how the building is being designed with the goal of meeting the Gold standard in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Adhering to the LEED standard will result in reductions of up to 30 per cent in energy consumption, 40 per cent in water usage and up to 90 per cent in waste diversion.

About George Brown College

Toronto's George Brown College has established a reputation for equipping students with the skills, industry experience and credentials to pursue the careers of their choice, with nine out of 10 graduates getting jobs within six months of graduation. From its two main campuses located across the downtown core, George Brown offers nearly 160 programs across a wide variety of professions. Students can earn diplomas, post-graduate certificates, industry accreditations, apprenticeships and four-year bachelor degrees. More than 22,000 students attend the college (full-time equivalent) with about 68,000 registered with the George Brown College School of Continuing Education. For more information, please visit www.georgebrown.ca.

SOURCE George Brown College

For further information: For further information: Shannon Morton, APEX Public Relations, (416) 924-4442 x253, smorton@apexpr.com

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