Niagara College launches $16.5 million Building Futures Campaign

Niagara College launched its Building Futures Campaign today in support of the College’s major campus redevelopment plan.

The $16.5 million campaign will seek to raise the community portion of the funds required for the $50 million Master Plan, which includes $48 million for buildings, equipment and learning resources, and $2 million for scholarships and bursaries.

“Niagara College is a catalyst in the transitioning of Niagara’s economy. Our campus plans and investments are designed to help our region meet the challenges that come with a changing economy and an urgent need for highly skilled workers,” said Niagara College President Dan Patterson. “The Building Futures Campaign presents an opportunity for businesses, groups and individuals in our community to join us in an investment in the future prosperity of Niagara.”

The campaign received an immediate boost, as the Niagara College Student Administrative Council (SAC), announced a $10 million pledge on behalf of current and future students. This major gift will support the construction of a new student centre, athletic centre, and library and learning commons at the Welland Campus.

“Being able to contribute to an entire wing of the new master plan building is our way of demonstrating that college students value the importance of their facilities and realize how fundamental they are to the quality of student life and the educational experience,” said SAC President Heather Brekelmans. “Our Student Council will be able to increase its capacity, its business and its ability to offer students more and better services.”

The Building Futures Campaign will be led by co-chairs Mark Basciano and Anna Olson, two community leaders who have achieved great success in two very different fields.

Basciano is the Owner and President of the Mountainview Group of companies, which includes Mountainview Homes, Mountainview Custom Homes, Mountainview Construction and Mountainview Properties. The award-winning Thorold company was formed in 1979 and is a market leader and the largest homebuilder in Niagara.

Olson is the host of Food Network Canada’s Sugar, and Kitchen Equipped, which also aired on HGTV. Her latest show, Fresh with Anna Olson, is filmed in her Welland home. She has also written three cook books and co-authored two more with her husband, Niagara College Chef/Professor Michael Olson. Anna and Michael own Olson Food + Bakery in Port Dalhousie and Olson Foods at Ravine in St. David’s.

“We’re extremely fortunate to have two outstanding community leaders join us in this important endeavour,” said Patterson. “Anna and Mark are very aware of the important role Niagara College plays in our community, and they understand the importance of investing in our College’s future. We’re very grateful for their support.”

Niagara College’s $50 million Master Plan for campus redevelopment is designed to increase capacity in programs that serve key industries in Niagara, including skilled trades, technology, winery and viticulture and hospitality and tourism, while providing much-needed improvements to aging facilities.
The project is also a response to the College’s unprecedented growth, including a 10.1 percent increase in total enrolment for the Fall 2008 term – the largest increase among all Ontario colleges.

The capital project will create more than 1,000 postsecondary student spaces, and provide additional capacity for access training, academic upgrading and apprentice programs that provide opportunity for re-training and address skills shortages. Completion of the project is scheduled for the fall of 2010.
New additions to the Welland Campus will include an academic wing, library and learning commons, an athletic centre, student centre, new facilities for visual arts and a significant expansion of the Skilled Trades and Technology Centre.

The Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus will see the construction of a new Wine Education and Visitors Centre that will integrate academic programming, facilities for the unique Niagara College Teaching Winery and an educational centre for students, industry and visitors. A culinary skills expansion will also be completed at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus.

Funding for the Master Plan will come from three sources: approximately one-third from Niagara College, one third from the Provincial Government, as announced by Premier Dalton McGuinty in July, and one third through the Building Futures Campaign.

Further information is available on the campaign Web site:

With 7,500 full-time students, Niagara College offers more than 90 diploma and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Falls and St. Catharines. Areas of specialization include hospitality and tourism, technology, applied health, and community safety. The College is also home to the globally recognized Niagara Culinary Institute and to Canada’s first commercial teaching winery.


For information, contact:
Gordon Hunchak
Director, Marketing & Communications
905 735-2211 ext. 7567
905 650-7820 (cell)


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