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From left to right: Saint John East MLA Glen Savoie, NBCC president and CEO Mary Butler, Saint John-Rothesay MP Wayne Long, and NBCC board chair Mark Flint. Image: Brad Perry

$45.9M For Upgrades At NBCC Saint John

By Brad Perry Dec 16, 2022 | 3:35 PM

Nearly $46 million in government funding has been announced for upgrades at NBCC’s Saint John campus.

Dozens of people were on hand for Friday’s announcement at the Trades Education Centre on Grandview Avenue.

Part of the money will be used to expand the centre and upgrade a number of training spaces.

Saint John East MLA Glen Savoie said the need for skilled trades training has never been higher.

“This funding will help NBCC Saint John increase the number of students that can enroll in their skilled trades programs from 356 to 600, which is an increase of 244 seats,” Savoie said during the news conference.

The centre will also see energy-efficient building retrofits, leading to an estimated reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 385 tons of CO2 per year

As part of the work, two older buildings on the campus will be demolished to make way for a new courtyard while a third will be retrofitted. Five new electric vehicle charging stations will also be installed.

Saint John-Rothesay MP Wayne Long said the announcement is not only transformational for NBCC but also for the scope of trades education in the region.

“This isn’t the traditional investment in or of a new building,” said Long. “This is about efficient, effective and modern delivery of key training this region, all of us desperately need.”

The provincial and federal governments are each investing more than $22.9 million in this project.

Mary Butler, president and CEO of NBCC, said the announcement is about a “smart investment with progressive outcomes.”

“In New Brunswick, we have an aging workforce, leaving more vacancies than we have people to fill them,” said Butler.

“We have the lowest post-secondary education attainment at a time when automation and technological advancement are significantly altering the way we work and eliminating many jobs.

Butler said one of the biggest challenges facing the community college is aging infrastructure.

“Not just because, in some cases, our buildings are like old houses, requiring constant maintenance, upkeep and investment, but also because they were built more than 60 years ago when education and training looked very different than it does today,” she said.

The two buildings set to be demolished at the Saint John campus as part of this project are “overdue for retirement,” she said. It will save on annual operating costs and avoid “tens of millions of dollars in deferred maintenance costs.”

Butler said work on the entire will take at least two or three years to complete.


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