Recent History – 2003
May 7, 2003 By Kelly Harris, Daily News Staff
Ground was broken for a new regional administration building at the Dawson Creek campus of Northern Lights College, Tuesday. The $3.34 million facility is meant to house administration currently working out of four different areas on the Dawson Creek campus. Construction officially began with the ground breaking Tuesday.
“This will make it possible to bring the regional staff together for the first time in many years,” said NLC Board Chairman Dennis Sabourin. The present 50-year-old main administration building was erected as part of the now defunct mid-Canada defence line – the post Second World War and Cold War era radar surveillance system designed to alert North America of an attack over the North Pole.
Mayor Wayne Dahlen, on hand for the ground breaking, said he remembered attending functions at the administration office in theearly 1980s and saying, “that board office was inadequate then.” Dahlen said the building is not only good for NLC, but also for the City of Dawson Creek’s development numbers for 2003. He gave special note to council’s support for the college and the expansion at the centre, while praising the board’s choice of general contractor – Bear Mountain Construction of Dawson Creek.
“It’s great to see a local contractor is going to be the general (contractor) on it,’ he said.
NLC President Jim Kassen said the project is something the college has been working on since 1966-67.
The tall in stature Kassen, joked that he had a personal reason for supporting the new centre. “I’m really looking forward to having a door I won’t have to duck through,” he said.
Once completed the new centre will be 1,000 sq.-metres of office and storage space. It will combine the four centres now being used at the Dawson Creek campus which include a centre at the student residences. The regional staff of 28 will fill the new administration building. The regional administration building will take care of an area of 308,000 sq.-kilometres covered by the college. The projected completion date is February, 2004.
Field, Field and Field Architects of Grande Prairie were charged with designing the building. The current administration office is 675 sq.-metres and houses a staff of 20. Four more staff members work out of student residence, one in the facilities workshop, two in continuing education building and one in academic development building.
Functions that are provided by regional staff include programs and courses, student records, daycare, financial aid, disability services, education technology, information technology, internationaleducation,facilities maintenance, payroll and benefits, human resources, accounting, college access and community relations.
The regional area of NLC that the new building will cover has approximately 12,000 students with 1,500 full-time equivalentstudents from a population of 68,000. The college has 250 staff with an annual budget of $22 million and annual payroll of $14.1 million.