The next phase of construction at NorQuest College will see a new innovation studio created in the old South Learning Centre, in the shadow of the new building that’s going up on the 108 Street campus.
Infrastructure and Communities Minister Amarjeet Sohi was on hand as the feds pumped $1.3 million into the project.
“It’ll allow NorQuest and the students to look at some of the best creative ideas to solve some of the social issues focusing on Indigenous communities, focusing on poverty, mental health, and all of those things hold people back.”
President and CEO of NorQuest Jodi Abbott told reporters the studio will focus on “social innovation.” For example, the college is currently working on a project with the Edmonton Public Library to look at loneliness and how people are impacted by loneliness.
“If we can crack what the challenges there are, we can look at better interventions to ensure people are successful in our communities.”
Another project is a collaboration with 11 institutions across Canada looking at how to create the best experience for refugees coming to Canada.
“Often when we think of innovation we think of technology and devices, and social innovation is absolutely essential for the health and wellbeing of our country.”
Renovation work on the South Learning Centre will begin later this spring, as upgrades to the roof and the windows will make the building more energy efficient.
On top of the $1.3 million from Ottawa NorQuest, through its own fund raising, has another $1.8 million for the innovation studio for a total renovation budget of $3.25 million.