Trades students at UFV will soon have access to 24,000 square feet of increased shop space for the heavy-mechanical and farm-technology programs.
The $6.5-million project was announced last week, and will see the university paying $1-million with the rest coming from the province.
The new space will house a large shop space, classrooms, and office. Some of the funding will also go towards the purchase of trades equipment for the shop.
As stated in a press release from the Ministry of Advanced Education, “over $18.6 million in capital funding from the Province of British Columbia has already been directed and committed towards UFV since 2012-13.” Funded projects include building renovations and facility development.
UFV heavy duty mechanical trades foundation student, Jamie McLellan, said the development would greatly improve the learning environment.
“This funding means we’ll be working on additional machinery that we’ll see in the real world — so our first day on the job is not really our first day,” McLellan said. “This helps us with our training and takes us one step closer to making our dreams — for ourselves and our families — one step closer to reality.”
The province predicts that there will be nearly one million job openings in British Columbia over the next decade, and eight out of 10 of these openings will require post-secondary education.
In an email, John Martin, Chilliwack MLA, said, “The BC Government is making record investments in modern, safe infrastructure projects across the province — and in doing so, these construction projects are creating high-paying, family supporting jobs. These investments are possible because of a strong fiscal plan — and through each, the Province is building a strong B.C. The new space for UFV is an investment in the future of students and in addressing the need for skilled trades in the community and throughout B.C. UFV heavy mechanical students will benefit from being able to complete their entire apprenticeship training in one location.”
Chilliwack-Hope MLA Laurie Throness also commented on the development.
“Every university comes to be known for something. People go to Waterloo to do math and computing, for instance, or engineering at Queen’s. UFV is fast becoming known as a trades and technical training hub, which is intensely practical and of great value to students, as well as B.C.’s economy. The new building will cement our growing reputation,” he said.
With files from Dave Pinton