Less than two years after breaking ground, the final touches are being put in place on the largest construction project in Lethbridge College’s history. The second phase of the new trades and technologies facility will be completed in early July, with the college set to take possession on July 14.
“A tremendous effort, led by Stuart Olson and its many contractors, has kept this project on schedule from the start,” says Francis Rankin, Lethbridge College project manager. “We’ve had a good relationship with all of those involved in the construction and we appreciate their commitment to completing this facility on time and on budget.”
A large push was put on in May, as more than 140 workers were on site to complete many aspects of the build. Mechanical, electrical, structural, architectural and City of Lethbridge consultants are now going through their checklists to make sure everything meets or exceeds the necessary standards.
“With all of the hard work of our staff, trade partners and the design team, Stuart Olson is pleased to report that construction of the new trades and technologies facility is concluding on schedule,” says Spencer Calhoun, Stuart Olson project manager. “For the last several weeks, we have been implementing mechanical and electrical commissioning and functional testing that will precede facility training and the formal turnover to Lethbridge College in early-to-mid July. In addition to these activities, we and our trade partners have been finalizing the remaining finishing tasks including painting, millwork, interior glazing and acoustic panels.”
Calhoun added: “we are ecstatic with the final product and are thrilled to have contributed to a future local landmark, learning hub and invaluable piece of college infrastructure that will undoubtedly enhance the southern Alberta region for generations to come.”
Once the college takes possession of the 127,495-square-foot facility, a large-scale moving effort will start as workers hang signs, set up classrooms and shops, and move heavy equipment into the areas that will house the Wind Turbine Technician, Electrician Apprenticeship Training, Welder Apprenticeship Training, Engineering Design and Drafting, and Interior Design Technology programs.
“We have hired six additional Facilities staff to support our regular crew and groundskeepers,” says Rankin. “We will have the building ready to welcome its first apprenticeship students on Aug. 21, although we anticipate making adjustments throughout August and September as students and faculty adapt to their new surroundings.”
The facility will also house a 7,000-square-foot innovation space, expected to be completed by spring 2018, made possible by $6.44 million in federal funding through the federal Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund.
The building is on pace to receive a high LEED certification for its environmentally-friendly construction.
Phase one of the new trades and technologies facility opened to students in August 2015, while the groundbreaking for phase two took place in October of that same year. The two phases combined will measure 168,812 square feet and will be the largest trades and technologies training facility south of Calgary. Fundraising for the project was bolstered by major contributions to the Possibilities are Endless campaign.
The new trades and technologies facility will host its official grand opening with a massive community celebration on Wednesday, Sept. 27.