With the first day of school just days away, some Conestoga College students will be starting the new year in a newly renovated facility.
Friday morning hundreds of students got the chance to take part in their first tour of the Waterloo campus.
“I thought it was incredible, just seeing all the new shiny things,” said Quilan Henderson, a Chef’s training student.
The renovated campus is located at University Avenue and Weber Street and is an expansion of the existing site.
The new facility is more than double its existing space with about triple the number of student enrolled.
It’s being touted as a much more sleek and modern facility.
“A lot of curtain walls, glass, and the interior of the building will be very high tech,” said site superintendent Adrian Vugts.
The facility will feature new specialty labs including state of the art kitchens.
“You have a facility there that’s really teaching them the theory and technique behind it,” said Waterloo campus manager Kathryn Brubacher.
The renovated campus will even feature a restaurant where students’ culinary skills can be put to the test. The restaurant is set to open to the public this October.
The campus is about 90 per cent complete, but crews are still working on phase four, which the site superintendent says is still on schedule.
Construction of the additional 150,000 square feet started last spring, and carries a price tag of about $58 million.
“14 from the feds. 2 million from the province and about 8 million from private donors and we paid for the rest ourselves,” said College president John Tibbits.
Along with the 17 classrooms and three computer labs there will also be a special space specific for newcomers to Canada and their little ones.
“We have childcare while they’re here on site so they feel comfortable feeling close to their children, but it’s not a deterrent from getting that extra education, said Brubacher.
The rest of the campus is ready for the close to 2,000 students to start studying on September 4.
Phase four of the project is expected to wrap up be Christmas and will be ready for students in January.