After 26 years in 10 temporary locations, staff and students at the John Di Poce South Georgian Bay Campus are finally settled into their permanent new home. Monday, Oct. 17 marked the official grand opening of the 20,000-square-foot campus located at the corner of Poplar Sideroad and Raglan Street in Collingwood.
The new building will accommodate 250 full-time students and more than 3,000 part-time students annually. It will also expand opportunities for corporate training, skills simulation and small business services.
Program offerings include Pre-Health Sciences, Bookkeeping, Personal Support Worker, Level 1 and Level 2 Early Childhood Education Apprenticeship, Office Administration, Gas Technician and a new Business Fundamentals program, which will start in January 2012. Students have access to a strong Academic Upgrading/College and Career Preparation program. There is also an e-learning lab where they can work toward a university degree.
“We are thrilled about the opportunities Georgian’s permanent new campus will offer to the future of the South Georgian Bay region and to our students,” said Brian Tamblyn, President and CEO of Georgian College. “We’re perfectly positioned to contribute significantly to economic growth in the area – offering programs that address labour market gaps, developing and strengthening key business partnerships and equipping students with marketable skills that will enable them to pursue their career goals and dreams.”
For those looking to upgrade their skills or study simply for the love of learning, there are Continuing Education courses to match every interest and taste. Budding entrepreneurs can learn how to start up a small business, professionals in the field of health and wellness can pursue specialty courses on topics such as diabetes management, travel enthusiasts can learn a new language, and for the creative types there are courses covering everything from decorating to photography.
Lynn Hynd, Campus Services and Community Relations Manager, says students are excited about the new space and what it means for both them and the community. “Without a local campus, many students would not be able to pursue post-secondary studies,” she said. “Georgian’s newest campus will allow them to live and study close to home.”
It was the convenience and flexibility of being able to pursue his goal of becoming a practical nurse without leaving his community that attracted Blair Fleming, a husband and father of two, to the new campus.
Blair, the first in his family to pursue post-secondary studies, is currently enjoying his first semester in the Pre-Health Sciences program.
“Georgian has succeeded in bringing this post-secondary experience right to my doorstep and to the doorsteps of many other students from the region,” he noted. “The faculty members here are like no other, the new campus has something for everyone, and the South Georgian Bay region and what it has to offer is amazing. My decision to attend school here was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”
It has been clear for many years that Georgian needed a permanent home for a campus serving the South Georgian Bay region. The catalyst for the creation of the Poplar Road campus was the donation of 10 acres of land by developer John Di Poce, through Di Poce Management Limited. The generosity of his donation is recognized in the campus name.
The project was also made possible thanks to a $4-million contribution from the Community Adjustment Fund of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.
A total of $450,000 for the campus has been raised by Georgian’s Power of Education campaign. This includes donations from businesses and individuals in the region, along with a gift of $106,750 from the Students’ Administrative Council. The college has set a $750,000 community fundraising goal.
Courtesy Georgian College