APPROXIMATELY 1,000 STUDENTS A YEAR WILL LEARN AT THE NOTRE DAME CAMPUS’ NEWEST BUILDING
BY JENNA MCLEOD
The newly constructed Skilled Trades and Technology Centre has opened its doors for the new semester. Located at Red River College’s Notre Dame campus, the space is just over 100,000 square-feet and features green initiatives, including LED lights, a recycling program and solar panels.
Many students are embracing the new building, including its modern design and study spaces.
“It has a lot of nice features and natural light,” said Mitchell Allen, a first-year carpentry student. “It’s much nicer than the old building.”
Derek Kochenash, the dean of Skilled Trades and Technologies, was involved in the building since its conception four years ago and worked with engineers and designers to create a building with students in mind.
This planning included details such as locker sizes. Some students need to store work boots, so the lockers are wider and deeper than ones for other students.
“The goal was to create a warm and comforting space for students to learn,” said Kochenash.
Kochenash explains that the building is not just a place to learn in; it’s also something to learn from. The solar panels being used on the building are accessible for students, and crawl space is open for students to explore the inner workings of the building.
Construction crews are still on-site, working on the building and the landscaping at the front of the building. A large deck is being built with inspiration from nature and Indigenous design. RRC wanted to showcase the diversity of their students.
“There is often a stigma around trades where it’s thought of as a second choice,” said Kochenash. “We really tried elevate skilled trades and technology, making it a first choice.”
According to RRC’s website, “approximately 1,000 students a year will take part in programs for careers in high-demand industries including carpentry, electrical, and mechanical and manufacturing.” It’s still early to tell what impact the building will have, but projections from the college estimate it’s expected to play a key role in boosting Manitoba’s workforce by 75,000 people by 2020.