Northern Lakes College breaks ground on new campus

(September 2018) – Students in the High Prairie region of Alberta will soon have access to a new, central post-secondary facility now that Northern Lakes College has broken ground on its new consolidated campus.

The new campus will serve approximately 225 students in a modern, purpose-built learning environment. Located on the site of the old Central Campus, the new facility will bring together students currently spread across three separate campus locations.

“This is an investment in the future of Northern Lakes College, the High Prairie community and our province that has been a long time coming,” stated Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education. “So many students from across the region come to Northern Lakes College to purse a quality education so that they can get a good job and succeed in our province’s economy, but the requests for a new campus were long ignored by the previous administration. I’m proud that our government has taken action, so more students can stay close to home to study and work and create a vibrant and dynamic community.”

Minister Schmidt with Minister Larivee, Ann Everatt and Dan Vandermeulen, attend the groundbreaking of the new Northern Lakes College campus in High Prairie.

The government has committed $21.6 million to build the new campus, with construction set to begin in the spring of 2019. The project is expected to create about 300 construction jobs and generate nearly $47 million for the local economy.

“This is a long-awaited day for High Prairie which, after years of being an afterthought to previous governments, will now finally receive a facility purpose-built for this region,” remarked Danielle Larivee, Minister of Children’s Services and Status of Women, and MLA for Lesser Slave Lake.

“Having taught at Northern Lakes College myself and worked side-by-side with its graduates, I know how vital this institution is for training emergency responders, frontline workers and community leaders.”

The new facility will include modern classroom and learning spaces and provide apprentices with better access to innovative training spaces. Student resources – including access to health and financial aid services – will also be centralized, creating easier access for students, efficiencies for the institution and a more cohesive college community.

“Today, we celebrate a remarkable and momentous event: A new campus in the community of High Prairie,” noted Northern Lakes College board chair, Dan Vandermeulen. “The development of this facility will allow for future program growth to meet regional employment demands and serve community members.”

Northern Lakes College, its student population and staff play an important role in the local economy. A recent study showed the school added about $104.7 million to the local economy in 2015-16.

“We are delighted that the Government of Alberta has supported this investment for the High Prairie Campus,” concluded Ann Everatt, president and CEO, Northern Lakes College.

“This new facility will support generations of learners and enable Northern Lakes College to provide a wider variety of programs and services to the community.”

Construction of the new campus is expected to be complete and the facility open for students and faculty in fall 2020.  

 High Prairie is a town in northern Alberta, within Big Lakes County. It is located at the junction of Highway 2 and Highway 749, approximately 89 kilometres northeast of Valleyview and 118 kilometres west of Slave Lake.

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