Selkirk College has opened up additional classroom space and created the new Applied Research and Innovation Centre (ARIC) in Castlegar.
Before the start of the Fall Semester, the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Program, the Selkirk Geospatial Research Centre (SGRC) and the Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute (RDI) moved to the former Professional Aviation Building at the West Kootenay Regional Airport. The new campus facility is located just minutes from the main Castlegar Campus.
“This move allows two major research centres the ability to work more closely, to more effectively engage students and to support community,” says Rhys Andrews, Dean for Applied Research & Innovation. “It’s about supporting applied research and innovation as it relates to the needs of the region.”
With robust enrolment, interest in more classroom space and the need for shared space of the applied research teams, the School of Environment & Geomatics, SGRC and the RDI put forward a proposal to transform the former Professional Aviation Program building into a new centre for learning, research and innovation.
“Applied research allows for unique learning opportunities for our students,” says Andrews. “This move allows us to start thinking about expanding and further enhancing our ability to meet the needs of our communities, opportunities for faculty research, experiential learning, and providing a wonderful learning setting for our GIS students.”
The 20-plus students of the Selkirk’s Advanced Diploma in GIS and Bachelor of GIS programs began taking classes at the building in September.
“We have every reason to be excited about the move and every need to be respectful of the importance the Aviation Program played in our college’s past,” says Andrews. “It’s going to be great to see the legacy of learning continue in this important Selkirk College location.”
The building required very little renovation for the move and was cost effective. The move has freed up needed space at the main Castlegar Campus for offices and for some student services to move to more accessible locations.
There will be an official grand opening for the new ARIC building on (Thursday) March 31.