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New Downsview campus: Centennial College aerospace

Centennial College’s new Downsview Park Aerospace Campus, slated to begin construction this fall, has big shoes to fill..
Downsview is getting sexier.
The campus will provide aerospace training for up to 900 students at a time in a 130,000-square-foot space that’s the former home of the de Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd., a storied company founded in 1929 that built planes for the Second World War. The massive building also hosted the Canadian Air and Space Museum from 1997 to 2011 and was slated for demolition just four years ago. Instead, it will be renovated into a teaching facility and innovation hub that will be Centennial’s fifth campus, a project expected to cost $55.4 million and create new partnerships between Centennial, other academic institutions like the University of Toronto, and the private sector. The design is by MJMA, the architecture firm behind the Regent Park Aquatics Centre and Centennial’s own Ashtonbee Campus Library and Student Hub. While most of the building’s exterior will be preserved, maintaining the ample natural light, the interior will accommodate larger aircraft than the original builders could have imagined. The area where 7,000 employees used to work at the main assembly line will become the main foyer. “The spirit is intact and will remain the same,” says Andrew Petrou, director of strategic initiatives and external relations at Centennial and executive director of the Downsview Aerospace Cluster for Innovation and Research (DAIR). “The design pays homage to the history of what’s come out of that building.” Adjacent to the Downsview Airport and close to Bombardier’s Downsview plant and Defence Research and Development Canada, students in the aviation program, currently based in Scarborough, will have unprecedented access to the aviation sector. “It’s a real game changer,” says Petrou. “Students can look at the latest technology in seconds.” The college also has plans for outreach to the local community, and to build bridges between small and medium sized businesses and the academic community that will inhabit the campus. The result, Petrou hopes, will be a more vital aerospace ecosystem that will keep Canada at the top of its game. “Canada’s currently fifth in the world, but other countries have their eye on our spot,” says Petrou. The campus is slated to open by fall 2017. Writer: Paul Gallant Source: Andrew Petrou

Sources / More info: New Downsview campus opens whole new world for Centennial College aerospace students:
[tags: downsview, centennial, college, aerospace, education]
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