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It's official: NWCC Smithers Campus is open!

SMITHERS The public answered Northwest Community College's invitation today as hundreds came out for a street party to mark the official opening of the newly-renovated, state-of-the-art Smithers Campus. The day's festive atmosphere reached its peak with the blessing and raising of a 28-foot red cedar totem pole, carved by local artists Ron Austin and James Madam. Raised in partnership with the Wetsuweten, the pole marks the symbolic last piece of the project. "This project has been about partnerships from day one and today all those partners and all our communities were represented in a celebration that owes so much to this beautiful and stunning pole that will greet everyone who comes to our Smithers Campus," said Dr. Denise Henning, NWCC President and CEO. The campus itself opened to classes earlier this year for the spring and summer semesters following an 18-month, two-phase renewal and expansion project. The result, exclaimed visitors and speakers alike today, is a beautiful and modern facility. Dr. Henning said the transformed campus meets the College's needs to improve and expand the learning opportunities in Smithers and it does so while incorporating the latest in sustainable building technology a Gold LEED design. "With this new campus, Northwest Community College can better meet the needs of our students and the community," said Dr. Henning. "The expanded learning facilities mean when opportunities come to our region, we'll be here to help students get the skills they need to take those opportunities." Visitors toured the new campus throughout the day and they were treated to First Nations singing and drumming and a ceremonial feast following the pole raising. In addition to being a joint federal-provincial Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP) project, the renewal and expansion work was also part of an overall $14-billion capital infrastructure program supported by the Province that will create up to 88,000 jobs and help build vital public infrastructure in every region of B.C.

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