Just weeks before celebrating 101 years of applied education, SAIT is officially opening five new facilities — spread across sites on and off the main campus — that will help the institution and students meet industry needs now and in the future.
SAIT students are already learning in some of these cutting-edge facilities: the Career Exploration Centre, the Gene Haas Foundation CNC Labs, the Green Building Technologies Lab and Demonstration Centre, the Crane and Ironworker Facility and The Tastemarket by SAIT.
"Fostering student success is at the core of SAIT's 100-year history, and this steadfast focus to produce career-ready graduates helps propel us into our second century," says SAIT President and CEO Dr. David Ross.
He adds that even though the new spaces serve multiple, diverse areas of study, all enhancements come from a drive to be nimble as SAIT responds to evolving industries, priorities and markets.
"The opening of our new facilities enables us to remain leaders in applied education and, importantly, continue supporting the career development and achievements of our students," says Ross.
Introducing our five newest additions
The Career Exploration Centre
The Career Exploration Centre has moved out of pilot phase and officially launched in its permanent home in the Johnson-Cobbe Energy Centre.
The 1,400-square-metre centre is designed to help students in Grades 8 and 9 make informed career pathway choices. Facilitators provide unique, hands-on opportunities for youth to investigate career options through experiential activities such as working on the front half of a car or playing an electrical-grid board game.
The activities initiate early conversations about program fit. Through partnerships with Calgary's two school boards, SAIT has developed a program that aligns not only with the institution's offerings, but also Alberta Education's Program of Studies in math, language arts, science and career and technologies foundations.
The Gene Haas Foundation CNC Labs
Located in the Thomas Riley Building, the Gene Haas Foundation CNC Labs enrich the learning experience in the School of Manufacturing and Automation's Machinist Apprentice and Machinist Technician programs.
The labs were developed with funding from the Gene Haas Foundation, which donated $1 million US in support of applied education. It is the largest gift a U.S.-based foundation has ever made to a Canadian post-secondary.
The labs house computer-numerical-controlled simulators, lathes and milling machines. The increased space and new precision technology equipment make it possible for an entire class of 28 to train at once.
The Green Building Technologies Lab and Demonstration Centre
SAIT offered a sneak peek of the Green Building Technologies Lab and Demonstration Centre in the spring. Today, it is a fully functioning example of advanced, building-integrated green technologies — a place where researchers, students and industry can work together on solution-focused research.
The 5,200-square-metre facility is the first net-zero commercial building in Calgary, using solar panels and an innovative ventilation system to harvest and produce as much energy as it consumes.
It was funded in part through partnerships with the Government of Canada, Government of Alberta, RBC, Avalon Master Builder and industry suppliers. It is home to cold-climate labs and testing bays, where energy-saving technologies can be analyzed and compared.
The centre also has a water filtration system that uses rainwater for various applications and even makes greywater potable by passing it through a plant-based bio-filtration system.
The Crane and Ironworker Facility
SAIT has relocated two growing programs to this new purpose-built 7.74-acre facility in southeast Calgary — the Crane and Hoisting Equipment Operator - Boom Truck, Crane and Hoisting Equipment Operator - Mobile Crane and the Iron Worker Apprenticeship programs in the School of Manufacturing and Automation.
In addition to accommodating boom trucks, mobile cranes and structural activities for ironworker students, the facility also houses the largest array of crane simulators in North America and has six-metre overhead doors that open onto the crane maintenance shop.
The Tastemarket by SAIT
This urban eatery and innovative learning environment for future entrepreneurs is SAIT's second downtown kitchen — the first being the Culinary Campus, which recently celebrated its fifth year.
The Tastemarket by SAIT offers a new destination for those in search of lunchtime options downtown — customers can even carry out and enjoy the nearby green space in Courthouse Park.
While the state-of-the-art facility will accommodate continuing education classes, it was specifically designed to complement SAIT's new Culinary Entrepreneurship post-diploma program. Students will learn how to manage and operate five different stations — bar and charcuterie, garde manger, patisserie, flatbreads and a flexible station to develop and market original culinary inventions.
The program is the first of its kind in North America. It will meet industry demand for a new generation of leaders with the knowledge and skills to operate a business, produce creative solutions and drive product development.