News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

July 25, 2008


$45-million Redevelopment to Former BMHC Site to be Named After Long-serving Brandon MLA Len Evans

BRANDON-A new $45-million trades centre will double apprenticeship opportunities at Assiniboine Community College (ACC) to boost Manitoba’s supply of skilled labourers to meet the needs of a fast-growing provincial economy, Premier Gary Doer announced here today.
“Today’s announcement means more opportunities for Manitoba’s young people and more skilled tradespeople to help Manitoba’s booming economy continue to grow,” said Doer. “This world-class centre will secure the central role of ACC in Westman’s economic future and demonstrates the government’s commitment to building a knowledge- and skills-based economy.”
The second phase of the relocation of Assiniboine Community College to the former site of the Brandon Mental Health Centre (BMHC) will see the historic Pine Ridge building redeveloped and expanded to deliver a state-of-the-art training facility for ACC students.
“This is an exciting time for Brandon and the province,” said Joel Ward, president of Assiniboine Community College. “This facility will allow us to increase our enrolment and deliver specialized training for our industry partners.  Our economy is dependent on a solution to the current skilled labour shortage and ACC is working with government to provide that solution.”
Doer said the facility will be called the Len Evans Centre for Trades and Technology, in honour of the former MLA who represented Brandon East for 30 years. The premier noted today’s announcement honours an election commitment to double apprenticeship opportunities at ACC.  The centre will have the capacity to deliver apprenticeship and training opportunities to 1,404 students, up from a current capacity of 627 including 500 new apprenticeship spaces.
The centre will be built to the standards of the Manitoba Green Building Policy. The policy aims to make provincially funded buildings among the most environmentally friendly and energy efficient in North America, in line with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standards.
“Green buildings reduce operating costs, protect the environment and are healthier places to work and learn,” Doer said. “This centre will become an exceptional example of sustainable development and new technology in a building that has always had a unique spot in Brandon’s history.”
The estimated capital cost of $45 million for phase two includes design, construction, furniture and equipment. The project is scheduled to be completed in time for the commencement of classes in September 2010. 
Today’s announcement follows the completion and opening of the Manitoba Institute of Culinary Arts in the former nurses residence in September 2007. Last year, the premier announced $500,000 to support ACC’s state-of-the-art Culinary Arts Theatre located at the North Hill campus. The new theatre serves as both a teaching kitchen and a television production facility.
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