More than $21 million in capital maintenance and renewal funding will create about 120 jobs in the Olds area.
The government of Alberta announced on Friday that Olds College will receive more than $21 million dollars in capital maintenance and renewal funding to redevelop two existing buildings on campus.
$15.16 million dollars will be used to expand the Lachlin McKinnon Building into the new Animal Health Education Centre, while $6.21 million will be used to redevelop the James Murray Building into the Ag-Tech Learning Hub that will house the Werklund School of Agriculture Technology.
The projects will help support new technology programming and future growth, according to Olds College President Stuart Cullum.
Cullum discusses the benefit of the new facilities for students.
Olds-Didsdbury-Three Hills MLA Nathan Cooper says the renovation projects will also help bring jobs to the region.
Combined with more than $5.5 million dollars in donation support, the Werklund School of Agriculture Technology and the Ag-Tech Learning Hub will be home to new Agriculture Technology programming. The first two programs will launch this fall at Olds College.
Government will spend $6.21 million to redevelop the James Murray Building and $15.16 million to expand the Lachlin McKinnon Building and Animal Health Technology labs at Olds College. Both projects will result in more state-of-the-art spaces for students and researchers. It will also give dozens of Albertans consistent, well-paying jobs – a key government priority under Alberta’s Recovery Plan.
The comprehensive renewal and renovation of the existing Lachlin McKinnon Building and Animal Health Technology labs will expand and revitalize the Animal Health Education Centre, helping the college address anticipated program growth and enrolment.
The redevelopment and expansion of the James Murray Building will allow the college to create a new ag-tech learning hub, which promises to be a world leader in integrated agricultural, technological and data sciences learning experiences. Students and researchers will be able to partner with industry personnel to develop new technology for smart and sustainable agriculture.
“This investment is a key part of our government’s economic recovery plan. Olds College has long been a valuable source of innovation for Alberta’s agriculture sector as well as a driving force for the regional economy in central Alberta. This investment will give students and researchers more access to cutting-edge facilities and help solidify the college’s place as a world-leader in its field.”Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education
“Alberta’s Recovery Plan focuses on infrastructure as a critical component for supporting economic growth and jobs for Albertans. This includes investing in shovel-ready projects to upgrade and maintain public facilities, like this post-secondary institution, that help keep Albertans working and stimulate local economies where it matters most.”Prasad Panda, Minister of Infrastructure
“Agriculture is without a doubt the most important industry in our region. Our farm families are leaders in adopting new ideas and technology. Expanding and modernizing Olds College, supporting more students and researchers, will only help drive our industry forward.”Nathan Cooper, MLA for Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills
“Olds College is thrilled that the Government of Alberta is contributing nearly $21.4 million in funding toward two critical projects that will ensure Alberta’s economy has the labour and talent needed to thrive. The first project will support our Animal Health Education Centre, which will result in a 67 per cent increase in capacity for animal health programming at the college. The second project will make our Ag-Tech Learning Hub a reality, which will house the Werklund School of Agriculture Technology and new programming that is coming online this fall. Designed as a high-tech learning environment, the Ag-Tech Learning Hub will connect to in-field technologies at the Olds College Smart Farm, as well as to Alberta farmers and partners throughout the globe. Olds College is thankful for the support of the Alberta government and their co-investment toward both projects by our many generous donors and industry partners.”Stuart Cullum, president, Olds College
"The Students' Association of Olds College would like to thank the Government of Alberta for their investment into the future of agriculture and our students. The commitment of $21.3 million of the Capital Maintenance and Renewal Stimulus Fund will greatly improve the academic and social learning environments for all of our students. As well, it shows the government's commitment to supporting our agricultural industry in the new technological age."Michael Frankiw, president, Students’ Association of Olds College
"The Alberta Students' Executive Council thanks the Government of Alberta for their commitment of $98 million from the Capital Maintenance and Renewal Stimulus Fund. This investment comes at an important time for Alberta's institutions and our economy, a fact well recognized by our university, college, and polytechnic student members. ASEC supports this supplemental capital funding, and remains committed to working with the government in building a modern post-secondary system in Alberta."Emmanauel Barker, director, public relations and advocacy, Alberta Students' Executive Council
Funding for the Olds College projects is part of an additional $98-million commitment to post-secondary institutions for accelerated capital maintenance and renewal, which is expected to create about 533 full-time jobs around the province. This investment in Olds College demonstrates government’s commitment to support rural communities and provide high-quality learning opportunities to attract students from across the province.
Budget 2020 already includes $118.5 million for capital maintenance and renewal at colleges, universities and polytechnics. In April, the Alberta government announced it was accelerating the capital plan and increasing capital maintenance and renewal spending in 2020-21 to almost $2 billion. Advanced Education worked with post-secondary institutions to identify projects, with a focus on addressing existing maintenance issues, ensuring compliance with building codes and regulations, increasing access to services, and reducing operational costs. Government also prioritized projects that will help create jobs, and are ready for work to begin.
The Olds College renewal project is part of the more than $10 billion infrastructure spending announced as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan. This spending includes: $6.9 billion Budget 2020 capital spending, $980 million accelerated for Capital Maintenance and Renewal, $200 million for Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program and water infrastructure projects, $600 million in strategic infrastructure projects, $500 million in municipal infrastructure and $1.5 billion for Keystone XL.
Alberta’s government is helping create thousands of good jobs for Albertans by building schools, roads and other core infrastructure that benefits Albertans and communities. It will further diversify our economy by helping sectors grow and succeed and return investment to our province by ensuring we have the most competitive tax environment in Canada.