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Olds College Receives $63M for Trades Building Renovation

March 01, 2024

The Government of Alberta announced on Thursday, February 29, the allocation of $63 million in capital funding to Olds College of Agriculture & Technology for the renovation and expansion of the W.J. Elliott Building. This investment is a significant step towards enhancing student spaces and supporting the growing demand for skilled trades education in Alberta.

trades-building.jpgThe decision to invest in renovating the W.J. Elliott Trades Building stems from continuous discussions between Olds College and the Ministry of Advanced Education regarding the need to modernize infrastructure to strengthen apprenticeship and trades training. These upgraded facilities will enable Olds College to elevate its student experience and industry partnerships, thereby nurturing the development of a skilled workforce. 

The capital infusion will be phased over three years, with $13 million slated for this year and $25 million in each of  the subsequent two years. Following diligent efforts to secure funding for the Trades building, yesterday’s announcement stands as a resounding triumph, with the $63 million representing a substantial 90% of the requested funding. This investment mirrors the government's recent commitment to augment apprenticeship seats by 3,200.

"We extend our deepest gratitude to Minister Sawhney for her unwavering support and advocacy for Olds College and our trades training specifically," said Dr. Ben Cecil, President of Olds College. "This substantial funding embodies a shared vision that promises to shape a vibrant future for our province and its industries."

The $63 million funding injection aligns with the broader vision of Budget 2024, focusing on strengthening education and supporting job creation in Alberta. By investing in the renovation of the W.J. Elliott Building, Olds College is not only enhancing its facilities but also creating more opportunities for students to excel in the skilled trades sector. 

"The renovation of the W.J. Elliott Building will not only provide an enriched learning environment for our students but will also meet the growing demands of industry as we add qualified apprentices into Alberta’s skilled trades workforce," said Dennis Beaudoin, Dean, Trades & Skills, Olds College. “With improved facilities made possible by this funding, Olds College will be able to support our industry partners in the way that they have always supported us.”

Planning for the project is underway with construction anticipated to begin in early 2025.

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