Few construction complaints at NSCC IT campus

An extensive $6-million makeover at the north-end Halifax campus has won grudging acceptance from students

NSCC's Institute of Technology campus under construction. Photo: Emily Graff

Workers are reshaping the Nova Scotia Community College's north end Halifax campus with almost no complaints from students. The extensive renovation, which started in June, is transforming virtually every aspect of the building. But students say they're pleased with the administration's efforts to minimize the disruption.

The project is costing almost $6 million and will result in a new library and learning commons for the college.

On top of this, the campus, which was built in 1963, will get quite a facelift on its tired streetscape with a new glass-fronted, contemporary building welcoming visitors to the campus.

While construction is ongoing and relatively intense, Sonja Jensen, president of the NSCC IT Student Association says the school has gone above and beyond to make sure students aren't disrupted.

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Construction gated off at NSCC's Institute of Technology campus

"It really seems like they're really focused on making sure that it impacts us in the least way possible," Jensen said.

Construction workers must share space with the school's 1,000 full-time and 4,500 part-time students so louder and more disruptive construction is being limited to between 4:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. in an attempt to limit the effect on classes and neighbors. The Halifax Regional Municipality has received no significant complaints concerning construction noise levels.

The university has kept students updated on its progress with weekly detailed construction reports. These reports warn students ahead of time what sections of the campus will be under the heaviest construction and any disruptions they should expect.

Jensen says while most students are happy about the construction, most will not be able to enjoy the benefits of the updates.

The school's programs span only one or two years and Jensen noted that many of the two-year programs are being transferred to the college's waterfront campus. She added that students in the one-year programs will have graduated by the time the work is complete.

"The construction's good because we needed it, but it kind of hurts the students that are there now because they're not going to see any of renovations, they only see the construction," Jensen said.

The NSCC IT campus is receiving more money for its renovations than any other college in Nova Scotia, with federal and provincial contributions totaling more than $5.5 million.

This money is being pumped into the school courtesy of the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, a two-year, $2-billion federal economic stimulus project that aims to revamp post-secondary schools.

Between the federal and provincial government, Nova Scotia will invest $113.9 million dollars in 25 projects at post-secondary schools across the province.

The school hopes to have construction completed by September 2010.



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