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North West College opens new centre in North Battleford mall

The Frontier Mall Learning Centre cost approximately $275,000 with $77,000 provided by the provincial government.

THE BATTLEFORDS — The ribbon was officially cut and the doors were opened at the grand opening of North West College's new five-classroom Frontier Mall Learning Centre at 11429 Railway Ave. East. on Jan. 29

The 5000 square foot centre, which cost upwards of $250,000 to build with financial assistance from the provincial government, and which took about a year from start to finish, comes at a time when the college says it's growing to accommodate more students. 

"We've definitely seen a lot of growth this year so we needed some new ... modern space, it's great to have these updated rooms and [a] good learning experience for our students," CEO of North West College Dr. Eli Ahlquist told media in an interview before the opening.

The site is for all North West College students, ranging from the college's adult basic education, social work, trades, or psychiatric nursing programs.

"The goal is to have the same high-quality learning experience in all of our locations. But what this provides us is a bit of flexibility, some additional space, as we've mentioned, to stretch out a bit and have a good learning experience for our students.

"We're really pleased with the outcome."

The building is used for daytime programming though the college is looking at options down the road, and with most classrooms having 25 seats, the facility boasts roughly 125 students. 

Dr. Ahlquist noted that the first group of students were utilizing the facility on Jan. 2

When asked why the Frontier Mall was chosen for this location, he said, 

"Part of it was the space was available for us ... but it's also about access to services and amenities that are nearby. So there's you know, everything from health services here in the mall, there's food, there's access to stores to get supplies and things like that. So it's a really great location for us to grow into."

In remarks made by George Prudat, chair of the college's Board of Governors, he said that he's delighted to celebrate this development that marked a new era for the college in the community.

"This new construction aligns perfectly with our vision at North West College emphasizing the importance of accessible education, local empowerment, and addressing the needs of our region," 

He added the proximity to the NationsWEST Fieldhouse, public transportation, and other benefits Dr. Ahlquist had mentioned, made the Frontier Mall a good location for the centre.

"Our gratitude extends to all those who played a pivotal role in making this learning centre a reality ... and it wasn't easy," he added, thanking the Government of Saskatchewan for their financial contribution.

"To the students who will grace these halls, I encourage you to seize every opportunity, challenge the status quo, and embrace the joy of lifelong learning."