By Scott Carpenter, Manager of Projects and Partnerships for Education and Training Branch

Part of the crowd at the Opening of the New Georgian College Expansion

On Wednesday August 31, 2011, one of MNO’s educational partners, Georgian College unveiled its’ biggest expansion ever, the new $62.5 million Centre for Health and Wellness.

More than 300 donors, faculty members and supporters attended the official opening of the 172,000-square-foot health-care training facility at Georgian’s Barrie Campus, which has been in planning since the mid-1990s.

The Centre for Health and Wellness will also house the new Aboriginal Resource Centre (ARC). The ARC features a semi-circular classroom, computer lab, lounge area and a tipi external to the Centre. It also includes an outdoor patio with a stone garden and enclosed flame to be used for ceremonial gatherings.

The expansion will create space for an additional 3,000 students and increase the staff of the college by 400. With the ever increasing demand for health and wellness workers, the increased number of graduates will be well placed to find employment

In attendance from the Métis community were Allan and Senator Audrey Vallee as well as MNO staff members Joanne Parent, Shawna Snache and Scott Carpenter. The expansion and new Aboriginal Resource Centre will provide new and increased support to Métis students that attend Georgian’s Barrie Campus.