The official opening of the new trades building at North Island College's Comox Valley campus happens this Friday.

The official opening of the new trades building at North Island College's Comox Valley campus happens this Friday.

Official opening Friday for North Island College trades building in Courtenay

The provincial government is projecting that Vancouver Island will need 6,850 skilled carpenters and cabinetmakers by 2019.
And North Island College (NIC) is in a position to help meet that demand with its brand-new Trades Training Centre at the Comox Valley campus.

The provincial government is projecting that Vancouver Island will need 6,850 skilled carpenters and cabinetmakers by 2019.And North Island College (NIC) is in a position to help meet that demand with its brand-new Trades Training Centre at the Comox Valley Campus.This is the first time NIC has been able to offer carpentry apprenticeship training in this region, and the  23,164-square-foot building allows NIC to train 112 skilled carpentry apprentices every year through four graduated levels of classes.NIC is celebrating the grand opening of the Trades Training Centre this Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is inviting the public to tour the building and learn about programs that are now available in the Comox Valley for the very first time. The official ceremonies take place at 11 a.m., and there will be tours and presentations from noon to 2 p.m.For NIC president Jan Lindsay, the new building is something the college and the entire community can be proud of.”I would say this is a very significant development for the college in that it allows us, particularly with some of the trades programs, to serve the Comox Valley and even south in construction and plumbing programming in much more effective ways,” she has said.”The Comox Valley is a growing area, and there is still a fair bit of construction and development in the area, and to have this type of facility is really significant for us to be able to support the community and economic development in the community.”The $8.2-million Trades Training Centre — which was designed by Thomas Dishlevoy Architecture Ltd. of Comox and constructed by Westcoast Developments Ltd. of Nanaimo — opened for classes Jan. 4, exactly one year after construction began.The facility includes a trades classroom, a drafting classroom, a classroom for marine simulation, a carpentry workshop, a plumbing workshop, a student locker area, showers, a first aid room, offices for instructors, a staff room and classrooms for Adult Basic Education.While carpentry is a big focus of the Trades Training Centre, the building is also home to NIC’s marine training program, and starting this fall, students will be able to sail without having to leave the classroom.The Trades Training Centre is outfitted with six state-of-the-art marine simulators, each equipped with three different computer screens to duplicate the bridges of common West Coast ships. These simulators are the only high-tech equipment of their kind north of Victoria using programs unique to the B.C. coast, according to NIC.The facility is certified LEED Gold, and there are many environmental features inside and out.Twenty-eight solar panels on the building’s roof generate 7,500 kilowatt hours of energy per year.Daylight sensors automatically dim classroom lighting when outside light is adequate.White gravel roads reduce the heat effect of pavement and return water to the aquifer below.The facility meets the province’s Wood First goals, as wood is a primary building material. Forty-two per cent of the wood used in construction of the building was harvested and supplied from within an 800-kilometre radius of the site.NIC’s Trades Training Centre was funded by the provincial and federal governments through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program.To tie in with the grand opening of the new facility, the NIC Foundation is presenting a Hard Hats and High Heels gala to raise money for bursaries for the trades and apprenticeship students using the Trades Training Centre this Saturday night. Contact the NIC Foundation at 250-334-5000, ext. 4267 for ticket information.writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Comox Valley Record