Government of Alberta invests in agriculture at Lakeland

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August 5, 2020
The Government of Alberta announced that Lakeland College will receive $17.3 million in capital maintenance and renewal funds to invest in the WHT Mead Animal Science Centre.
Premier Jason Kenney visited Lakeland’s Vermilion campus to celebrate how the project will create new jobs in the region and enhance student-led learning in commercial agriculture.new mead building announcement

“Alberta’s Recovery Plan is a bold, ambitious long-term strategy to build, diversify, and create tens of thousands of jobs, now. We are committed to developing world-class post-secondary institutions, and today’s announcement of over $17 million to redevelop the Vermilion campus at Lakeland College, will help us meet students’ evolving needs in the region,” says Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education.

The funds will enable Lakeland to expand the facility to ensure students continue to have modern spaces for learning and innovation, as well as accommodate new programs and increasing enrolment.

“On behalf of Lakeland College, thank you to the Alberta government for investing in our students – our province’s up-and-coming leaders – as well as our campus community. The 100 jobs this project will create is welcome news for our local region. This support opens another chapter of innovation and investment for Lakeland’s award-winning programs,” says Dr. Alice Wainwright-Stewart, president and CEO of Lakeland College.
 
“Over the last four years, Lakeland has celebrated the expansion of the Vermilion campus farm and the upcoming addition of a bison operation, as well as theJason Kenney official opening of both a new Animal Health Clinic and Dairy Learning Centre, plus the modernization of our G.N. Sweet Livestock Research Facility and Academic Link. We’re excited to see our growth continue with the government’s investment in this teaching facility. This, combined with future farm upgrades and our new Centre for Ag Technology, will ensure Lakeland remains a global leader in agricultural education.” 

Accessed by 550-plus agricultural sciences students annually, the WHT Mead Animal Science Centre features labs, classrooms and faculty offices. It’s also an academic hub for hundreds of students in our environmental sciences and human services programs. With energy efficiency plans, collaborative student spaces and the addition of new classrooms, the renovated WHT Mead Animal Science Centre will provide a state-of-the-art hub for work-integrated learning.

“Lakeland College is a great asset for Vermilion and the surrounding region. The institution provides students the opportunity to live, learn and work in rural Alberta. Students today, like the ones at Lakeland College, are the workforce of Alberta’s tomorrow. Lakeland College has shown exceptional community leadership, and with the modernizing of the Mead Building, will continue to do so well into the future. I look forward to visiting with students and staff while enjoying the comfortable and productive space this revitalization provides,” says Garth Rowswell, MLA for Vermilion-Lloydminster-Wainwright.

Enrolment in agricultural sciences has grown 100 per cent since 2010 at Lakeland. As a modern, efficient and dynamic learning facility, the WHT Mead Animal Science Centre will continue to help Lakeland maximize enrolment opportunities.
 

new mead buildingInnovation and investment at Lakeland

Lakeland has been proactive in investing in capital projects that align with the Government of Alberta’s goals of accessibility, affordability, quality, coordination and accountability.

In 2016-17, Lakeland opened the modernized G.N. Sweet Livestock Research Facility, which features state-of-the-art technology for livestock research and development. In the following year, Lakeland officially opened the college’s 46,600 sq. ft. Dairy Learning Centre. That grand opening was followed by another in 2018-19 with the new Animal Health Clinic, as well as the completion of the Trades Centre exterior and roofing repair project. The generous support of donors enabled Lakeland to expand the campus farm with 309 acres of quality cropland in 2019. A historic gift in 2020 will allow Lakeland to further expand the campus farm and establish a bison herd at the college.

Phase 1 of the Vermilion Campus Revitalization plan was also completed in 2019-20 with renovations done in Alumni Hall’s Student Services and Learning Commons Information Technology areas, as well as in the Academic Link student labs.

“When you add it all up, it’s a staggering investment for Lakeland over the last few years that has provided the college with some world-class facilities, and students with world-class opportunities,” says Wainwright-Stewart. “Preparing students to be job ready requires the appropriate spaces to support exceptional new mead buildingteaching methods in classrooms and labs. We are honoured to have the support of our donors, industry partners and the government, and we’re proud to play a large role in rural sustainability and economic development.”

The WHT Mead Animal Science Centre project is part of an overall capital plan to optimize the resources required for building infrastructure and services, by coordinating rehabilitation with revitalization. Staff, students, program advisory committees and elected officials were consulted on this project. Work on the project will begin immediately.
 
Read the Government of Alberta's news release about the redevelopment of the WHT Mead Animal Science Centre.
 
Photos from the top:  (1) Premier Jason Kenney and Dr. Alice Wainwright-Stewart share a rendering of the renovated WHT Mead Animal Science Centre. They're joined by agricultural sciences students TJ Gonsalves (front row left) and Rianne Harrish (front row right) as well as Lakeland's board chair Scott Webb, Garth Rowswell, MLA for Vermilion-Lloydminster-Wainwright, and Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education (back row from left). (2) Premier Jason Kenney announcing the government's capital investment. (3 and 4) Renderings of the new WHT Mead Animal Science Centre.