According to an article in today’s Edmonton Journal, it appears that the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology is planning to spend a ton of cash in an effort to become one of North America’s largest technical schools. The project sounds fairly ambitious:
A brand-new campus twice the size of the current main campus will be built somewhere in the south side, and the main campus in north-central Edmonton will be expanded to include a “student village” with residences and possibly an LRT station.
Over the next 25 to 30 years, NAIT’s other eight locations in the Edmonton area, such as Souch campus at Gateway Boulevard and 71st Avenue, will be consolidated into the two main sites.
The $750-million project will attempt to increase enrolment to 95,000 students from the 65,000 to help in easing Alberta’s “critical shortage of skilled workers.” One of the highlights is a new Centre for Health and Wellness, to be completed as early as 2009, that will include a fitness centre, aquatic facilities, and a health clinic.
I admit I was a little surprised when I first read the article, but I think it’s great that all of our educational institutions are expanding, and not just the University. This project probably wouldn’t have been possible a few years ago, when the south LRT extensions had not been approved – the south side campus is a reflection of the direction Edmonton’s growth is heading, and in fact has been heading for quite some time.
I’m looking forward to seeing how this project unfolds. It’s too bad they didn’t announce it a couple months ago, when they could have been featured in some of the Edmonton real-estate and growth publications!
Read: Edmonton Journal