If you build it, it will accommodate the overflow.

That’s the hope for NorQuest College with its proposed expansion of its downtown campus. Plans call for a new building, the North Learning Centre, to be built directly north of the existing main building at 10215-108 St.

President and CEO Wayne Shillington said the government is well aware of the institution’s plans and that the ball is rolling to secure some funding, but that for the time being there is no concrete timeline.

“The project will be ready (to start) when the government is ready,” he said.

A sustainable building that would more than double NorQuest’s existing on-site capacity, the North Learning Centre will face Capital Boulevard (108 Street), bounded by 103 Avenue and 107 Street. The 27,500-square-metre, five-storey building will provide state-of-the-art smart classrooms, a daycare centre, a new library, food services and student activity space.

The North Learning Centre will be connected at all levels with the existing Main Building. The vision is to modernize the downtown campus, incorporate green park space and serve as an anchor to the north leg of Capital Boulevard.

“We outgrew (our current space) a number of years ago,” Shillington said. “As the economy starts to turn around we are already seeing demand for skills that are not there.”

In recent years, the Government of Alberta has committed $5 million toward updating the business case and planning activities for the new building. These will be submitted to government in July.

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