Red Deer College officials are confident they are on the verge of getting what they’ve fought for 25 years to get.
At RDC’s annual State of the College address on Monday, President and CEO Joel Ward used his keynote address to touch on major highlights including capital projects, economic impact, and the growing number of programs being offered at RDC.
But there was only one thing those in attendance wanted to know – whether the province will finally grant RDC polytechnic status.
Given that Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education has made his recommendation to cabinet, Ward feels a favourable decision is imminent.
“If we don’t get a green door, we will keep on fighting," Ward said following his speech. "But I don’t imagine [the provincial government] will shut the door on us for the third time in 25 years."
Degree-granting status would not only allow local students to stay close to home during their studies, Ward says it would also strengthen the $533 million economic impact RDC has on Central Alberta.
Three new capital projects totalling $118 million are slated for completion in 2018 – the Alternative Energy Lab, new residence building and the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. The latter two facilities will play key roles in the 2019 Canada Winter Games.
Ward says the college will get the keys to the Harris Games Centre in May. The new residence building, which will serve as the Athlete’s Village during the 2019 Games, should be done in December.
With a staff of over 1,400, Red Deer College currently offers over 100 programs to over 7,500 students and more than 36,000 continuing education learners.
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