BY MICHAEL JAMES
In a little more than three months, the phenomenon known as the double cohort will become a reality
and Cambrian College is doing its utmost to make sure it?s ready.
To those not familiar with the term, double cohort refers to the first group of students slated to graduate from Ontario?s new four-year high school program this month. Previously, Ontario had been one of the last remaining provinces in the country to extend high school to grade 13.
Post-secondary institutions around the province have been working overtime for the past year to ensure they will be in a position to accommodate the expected large increase in the number of qualified students.
In anticipation of the double cohort, the government of Ontario launched the single biggest capital investment in colleges and universities since the 1960s.
Through a program called SuperBuild, the government has committed $2.6 billion towards 74 new post-secondary capital projects across the province.
On Monday, Cambrian will officially open its own SuperBuild project, a 121,000 square foot expansion of the Barrydowne campus, much of it between the main building and the Industrial Training Centre.
The official ceremony begins at 1:30 p.m. in the centre court area near the fountain.
Skywalks link the buildings on either side, while a glassed-exterior student common area both enhances the facade of the existing trades building and integrates it with the new buildings,
enveloping the physical structure in a natural Northern Ontario theme.
Most of the construction work was done by local contractors.
According to marketing and institutional relations director Linda Wilson, the opening is a really big deal for this community.
?The greatest resource we have is our people,? Wilson said. ?People who are educated and can go into business and stay in the community add value to the community.?
Wilson said the college is supporting the community?s initiative to attract more people to the city, with a view towards demonstrating Sudbury is not only an excellent place to receive a first-rate education, but also a great place to live and work.
The move to add to our social, political and economic base is a big thrust in Sudbury right now, she said.
?This 121,000 square foot expansion allows us to take in more students, to provide the sophisticated type of education that is required in this century, whether locally or beyond, because, certainly, the technologies we have available now allow us to educate beyond the borders of the Barrydowne
campus,? she said. ?But it originates here.?
With demographics changing so rapidly in the north and the very real concern over out-migration,
Wilson views both Cambrian?s expansion and the state-of-the-art facilities it houses, as something that will effectively draw people into our community.
?Sudbury has the unique advantage (among communities in the north) of having three post-secondary institutions,? she said. ?We?re a college/university town.?
Wilson said Cambrian expects an increased enrolment of about 300 students this fall as a result of the double cohort.
Again, the college will be well-equipped to accommodate them.
In addition to existing student residences, two new three-storey residences, designed to accommodate 200 students, are expected to be completed sometime in August.