STEPHENVILLE – The College of the North Atlantic’s (CNA) Heavy Equipment Centre of Excellence re-opened to students on Monday, Aug. 24. Although the Centre had opened previously in mid-January, it was forced to suspend onsite academic instruction by mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Funding was first announced in late summer of 2016 as a joint federal and provincial initiative, and construction began in May 2017. Both levels of government committed 9.25 million, and the College of the North Atlantic also made a significant financial contribution towards the new facility.
“Total project funding received from the federal and provincial governments was approximately $18.5 million, and that included improvements to the existing buildings at the field training site as well as the new building construction. CNA contributed an additional $1.5 million for furniture, fixtures and equipment purchases,” stated Michelle Barry, CNA’s Communications Manager.
Via e-mail, Barry stated that currently the facility can accommodate 170 students, but there is additional building capacity for future program opportunities, as well as for contract training. Multiple programs are offered at the facility under the School of Industrial Trades program.
“There is a plan to work with industry partners to conduct applied research as a leading innovative post-secondary campus. The scope of programs enables CNA to be a leader in assisting the province in defining and attaining its goals related to motive power in the areas of: technology adaption, environmental sustainability and establishing regulations in the transportation sector as new technologies emerge,” wrote Barry.
The Bay St. George campus was chosen as the site for the new facility in order to bring together all of the mechanical, technical and operational programs. The campus already enjoys an established reputation as a leader in industry training and expertise for high-volume power trades and has an array of operational programs. It is also an approved government training and assessment facility for Class 1, 3, 8, 9, 9A and Red and Blue Seal operational certificates.
An official grand opening ceremony has yet to be scheduled.