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Feds to cover half of renovation costs at Collège Boréal’s Nipissing campus

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The federal government said Thursday it is covering half of the cost of a renovation project at Collège Boréal in Sturgeon Falls.

Nickel Belt Liberal MP Marc Serré was accompanied by the Minister of National Revenue, Marie-Claude Bibeau, to announce more than $560,000 for Collège Boréal. The total cost of the renovation is $1.1 million, the college said.

Serré said it’s the government’s responsibility to ensure education is up to par.

“We attract new students and also, more importantly, that we have more jobs and employers so we keep our youth in northeastern Ontario,” he said.

A tour of the campus showed the extent of upgrades and modernization made for classroom learning.

“This is absolutely critical for the future of our site and our campus here in West Nipissing,” said Collège Boréal president Daniel Giroux.

Nickel Belt Liberal MP Marc Serré was accompanied by the Minister of National Revenue, Marie-Claude Bibeau, to announce more than $560,000 for Collège Boréal on Feb. 22, 2024. The total cost of the renovation is $1.1 million, the college said. (Eric Taschner/CTV News)

“It was one of our priorities.”

Within the 19,000-square-foot campus, renovation work included the interior and exterior of the campus building.

Interior improvements include renovating reception areas, adding staff offices, relocating and upgrading four video conference/projection rooms and teaching rooms, a health lab for resisted practical nursing and personal support worker students, painting rooms, replacing carpets, installing mechanical systems for air intake and cooling, and converting a classroom into a computer workspace and warehouse.

Exterior renovations

Exterior renovations focused on the building’s front façade. This involved replacing windows, enhancing the building’s appearance with a painting on decorative panels and adding a promotional electronic sign.

Since completion, the Nipissing Campus now has 11 new workspaces for post-secondary services and employment staff.

A tenant for 27 years, Collège Boréal also relocated its job search services centre to the Nipissing campus.

“This essential modernization will reinforce and extend the partnership between the Franco-Ontarian educational institution and community,” said Giroux.

“We had two separate sites and one of the objectives was to have one site under one roof. From employment services to adult literacy and continuing education, contract training and our post-secondary programs.”

The government credits the work Collège Boréal and its access centres and its seven main campuses across Ontario does to recruit international students and French-language high school students.

“We have a skill shortage all across the country. The francophone community and Collège Boréal over the years has played a major role in attracting businesses and people,” Serré said.

The campus is home to between 200-250 students and clients each school year.

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