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Sault College plans new Centre for Health Sciences for fall 2024

College will raise funds, seek government money for project; old gym would be decommisioned
doctor (2)

Sault College wants to open a new Centre for Health Sciences at its Northern Ave. campus as it aims to provide improved education for its healthcare program students. 

“This is a very important initiative that we’re working on, to create a Sault College Centre for Health Sciences,” said Ron Common, Sault College president to the school’s board of governors at its meeting held Thursday.

The 42,000-square foot new facility would involve decommissioning of the college’s old gymnasium and D-Wing, with other space evaluated for future use.

“Expanding our health programming is a major part of our strategic plan as we go forward. We are planning to increase now that we have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. We’re planning to increase our enrolment of internationally trained nurses, we’re planning to increase our enrolment in the personal support worker program as well as numerous other health programs. Once we do all that we need a building, so this is our proposal,” Common told the board.

The new facility and equipment is needed to expand Sault College capacity to provide its students with education that meets the demands of health care providers, new academic programming and continuing education and to compete for students, teachers and researchers in global markets 

“Things are evolving quickly,” said Colin Kirkwood, Sault College vice president of operations.

“We’ve rephrased our objective to reflect some of the conversations we’ve been having with our stakeholders…we’ve added in the word ‘research’ and we’ve also added in ‘medically advanced teaching,’” Kirkwood said.

The college intends to compete with Lambton College, Georgian College and the University of Western Ontario, each of which have new health science facilities, Kirkwood added.

The college says it's ready to launch operations in the new building for students, teachers and researchers by September 2024 - one year earlier than originally planned.

Steps involved include:

  • current seeking of input from external stakeholders such as Sault Area Hospital, Northern Ontario School of Medicine and long term care homes
  • Coming up with a cost estimate
  • Seek capital project approval from the Sault College board of governors
  • Fundraising
  • Submit a funding application to the NOHFC

Construction of the new facility will be phased in to not disrupt other college operations, Kirkwood said.

“The Centre will have many innovative features, including state of the art virtual reality simulations in our learning,” added Rick Webb, Sault College spokesperson in a post-meeting email.

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Darren Taylor

About the Author: Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a news reporter and photographer in Sault Ste Marie. He regularly covers community events, political announcements and numerous board meetings. With a background in broadcast journalism, Darren has worked in the media since 1996.
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