State-of-the-art facilities enhance learning, living and athletic experiences at RDC

Date posted: 
Wed, 08/08/2018
Joel Ward RDC President & CEO

As we continue to transition to University status, we have been busy preparing our facilities for the anticipated growth of programs and services to serve our ever-expanding number of students. Dr. Paulette Hanna, in her guest article last month, outlined the new programs we are offering this year. The new Bachelor of Applied Arts in Animation and Visual Effects, along with new programs in Justice Studies, Health Care, Education and Business ensure opportunities for innovation, entrepreneurship and great careers in central Alberta.

To accommodate the anticipated growth, RDC embarked on the largest facilities expansion in our history. Great programs, well delivered in modern facilities, ensure RDC’s ability to meet the learning needs of our students and our communities.

Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre/Centre des Jeux du Canada Gary W. Harris

Construction is completed, on time and on budget ($88M). We are in the process of moving in and will be hosting an open house and tours for the community in late August. Watch for the grand opening announcement coming soon. You will want to see this amazing facility. 

This iconic facility celebrating health, wellness and sport will serve our learners and our communities for years to come and will serve as the legacy of the 2019 Canada Winter Games. And did I mention its design will take your breath away? Stantec, our design and architecture partner, and Clark/Scott Builders Inc., our general contractor, along with our faculty, staff and community partners have created something special, and I know you will be inspired by this newest addition to our College and our community. And it has approximately 2,500 solar panels on the roof along with 276 panels on the solar walkway, and is part of our green energy master plan, which will reduce our heat and cooling costs by almost one third. By the end of 2018, over 3,600 solar panels will be installed at RDC.

Residence

Construction is on time and on budget ($20M) for the 145 studio suites to open in January 2019. It is not a box with rooms. Its uniqueness makes it unlike any residence built before. Again, our team of designers have created something special. Gathering stairs, collaboration spaces and units designed by and for our students, ensure not only an incredible living space, but spaces that support learning. And did I mention that the south, west and east facing walls will be populated with solar panels? 

Alternative Energy Lab (AEL)

Construction is completed, on time and on budget ($10M). Partnering with the Federal Government who funded 50% of the cost, this new teaching, learning and research space will demonstrate and showcase new alternative energy solutions for consideration by business, industry and local homeowners.

Information sessions, demonstrations of new technologies and research into the efficacy of alternative energy solutions in central Alberta will be the primary focus of this new facility. New programs will be developed to assist in the installation and trouble-shooting of new technologies. The addition of the AEL to our Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing gives RDC a great one-two punch to support small and medium businesses in applied research, rapid prototyping and 3D printing in central Alberta.

We will hold the grand opening later this fall. Watch for information sessions and tours open to the general public right after the grand opening.

The change occurring at RDC is breathtaking. New facilities, new programs and the Premier’s announcement granting University status has made 2018 the most transformative year in our history. And there is more. This fall we will host five national sporting pre-Games events leading up to the Canada Winter Games, and then we will host competition in the same five sports during the Games in February and March, 2019. Following the Games, RDC will host the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Men’s Volleyball National Championship from March 6 to 9 – the first time since 1987.

And we have to find a name for our new University…

This article was first published in the Red Deer Advocate on July 28, 2018.

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