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October 25, 2012

New Trades Complex: LEED Platinum + Energy Neutral

by Arnica Rowan

The Kelowna Trades Complex project will be the first of its kind in British Columbia to transform a complex of this age, size and diversity into a modern learning space that is energy neutral. The vision preserves the existing shops and Trades’ building structure while expanding and transforming the entire complex into the contemporary spaces learners need today.

On September 21st we received some very good news!! The B.C. government is providing $28 million under B.C.’s Skills and Training Plan to expand and renovate the trades training facilities on our campus. The announcement about the project is at:  http://www.okanagan.bc.ca/administration/publicaffairs/news.html?BlogEntryID=32350

This project will be a model for changing the way post-secondary institutions can renew their campuses in the future and has four visionary goals:

  1. LEED Platinum renovation of existing shops and classrooms
  2. LEED Platinum construction of new space (needed shop and classroom expansion) – students and staff from our Penno and Acland Rd Centres will be moved back to this campus
  3. Net-zero energy plan by conserving, capturing and creating energy
  4. Improvements to space efficiency, safety and utilization

Planning has been underway for several weeks with the trades department and I am pleased to tell you that construction will begin next week on phase one: the expansion of the Heavy Duty Mechanics Building.  This building (located west of the Centre for Learning and parking lot 14) is being expanded both to the east and to the west with a second story added so that additional classrooms and office spaces can be created.  Work will begin on Tuesday and is very welcomed.

The expansion and renovation project it will take several years to complete which is why we have commitment from the province for capital funding over the next four years. A website for the project at: http://www.okanagan.bc.ca/regions/centralokanagan/building_for_the_future/Trades_Complex.html is being created so you can visit that site for more information soon. We will make sure to keep you informed of the changes and developments to the Trades Complex as they unfold.

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