The university is looking to add some floor space for the trades. The initial stages for a new trades building on campus are underway, pending a decision by the provincial government on contributing half of the costs.
“Right now we have notional approval from the [Ministry of Advanced Education] for up to $15 million for the building, but we don’t have formal approval yet,” said TRU’s Vice President Finance Matt Milovick.
The entire project will cost $30 million, with TRU expected to fund half of it, according to Milovick. The project will not move forward unless the B.C. government contributes to it.
According to Milovick, TRU submitted their business case outlining their plans for the new building to the government on Feb. 26.
If the plan is approved, the new building will be constructed behind the existing trades building, an area that Milovick said is unlikely to be used for anything else, leaving free other areas on campus for further development.
Milovick said that the proposed building would be approximately 50,000 square feet, which is about half the size of the existing trades building.
When asked why the university was expanding trades rather than any other program, Milovick said that the new building responds to the province’s Skills Gap plan and allows TRU to address overflow from existing trades courses while also creating new ones.
“We have a lot of demand for trades that we really cannot fulfill. Our current building is over-utilized and we need more space. We really want to start to focus on things like power engineering and instrumentation,” Milovick said.
Although it does fit in with government mandates and government approval and funds will be necessary for the project, Milovick said that the plan to expand the building originated at TRU. Milovick said that the expansion of trades building space has been on TRU’s to-do list for at least five years.
If approved and constructed, the new trades building would be the first new standalone building on campus since 2011, when the House of Learning was completed.