TYSON WHITNEY PHOTOS Renovations being done on North Island College’s new campus at the Thunderbird Mall in Port Hardy.

North Island College fires back at Councillor’s remarks

“We are going to make sure that every councillor is on the same page as us once we meet with them.”

While Coun. John Tidbury recently commented at a Port Hardy council meeting he is upset that North Island College (NIC) is moving from the old mall on Trustee Road (16,000 square feet) to the Thunderbird Mall on Granville Street (6,000 square feet), NIC’s Vice President Strategic Initiatives, Randall Heidt, says the college’s new location will actually allow them to offer more classes than ever.

“It’s really a lot better of a space and it’s being purposely built for today’s college students,” Heidt said, adding the new location “will be the best ITV experience that people in Mount Waddington have ever had with the campuses first dedicated ITV line in January and then a 10 times faster ITV line installed in June.”

ITV stands for “Interactive TV”, which will be used to access university studies classes and students in Campbell River, Comox Valley, and Port Alberni.

As for Tidbury’s claim NIC might be looking to sever ties with Port Hardy, Heidt stated the college would not have “invested 1.4 million dollars into renovating a new facility in Port Hardy if we were planning to leave, and we definitely wouldn’t have signed a new five-year lease. We are going to make sure that every councillor is on the same page as us once we meet with them.”

As for why the NIC decided it was time to leave its previous location at the old mall, Heidt said the lease had come up and it was now “the perfect time to move into the heart of the community where we are closer to our partners, the North Island Employment Foundations Society and the Sacred Wolf Friendship Centre. A lot of our prospective students will now be right next door and we are aiming to be even more effective in our great new location.”

Port Hardy Mayor Hank Bood stated he has not yet been able to tour the NIC’s new campus, but did confirm he is “really pleased that we will have a brand new campus on the North Island with state of the art facilities for students to use.”

When asked if he is worried about what might happen to the old mall now that NIC is moving downtown, Bood stated he is not in charge of “making sure peoples’ businesses are a success, but I do hope to see the old mall’s space being used in the future.”

NIC Campus Coordinator Caitlin Hartnett gave the Gazette an exclusive tour of the college’s new space at the Thunderbird Mall, stating she thinks of their new 6,000 square foot space as being “more about the rooms and the space being college purposed. We will have a much bigger, more accessible student lounge space and student study space, a beautiful kitchen and study area, and we have four classrooms like we had up at our old space.”

Hartnett added she thinks there has been a lot of misinformation going around about NIC. “I think there’s been rumours that we have been pulling out of Port Hardy for years, but once council sees the space, they will know it’s a testament to how we are committed to staying, because so much energy and time has been spent in creating this space for the people we serve here and who our community is. We are really excited for our opening in mid-January, we will be having an open house all day and then a grand opening celebration in the evening.”

David Graham, Director, Facilities Management for NIC stated the college will be saving “both in terms of lease costs and utility costs from not having to heat rooms that aren’t being used.”

The renovations at the Thunderbird Mall are being funded through BC’s Ministry of Advanced Education, NIC, and public donations.

 

Just Posted

10 tonnes of plastic cleared from North Coast beaches

Living Oceans Society spent three days sorting the marine debris

Court orders protestors to leave fish farm site

“The adjournment allows us to compile our evidence and present it in 30 days.”

NISS Students find out what journalism is all about

Four students visit the Gazette for a work experience

Disability Tax Credits in jeopardy for Type 1 diabetics

“It’s something I deal with every day of my life.”

Port Hardy Residents still waiting for Telus Fibre Optic

Mansourati was unable to say who Telus would be contracting to finish the ninth fibre serving area.

100,000 bulbs shine bright for Lights of Hope

St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver launched its annual campaign to raise funds for equipment, research

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

Nasty note on B.C. windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

Port Alberni resident robbed with weapon, thieves steal thousands

Most of the stolen currency is in Canadian $100 bills. The police investigation is ongoing.

Single vehicle crash on Old Island Highway sends driver to hospital

A single-vehicle crash just north of Courtenay early Friday morning sent one… Continue reading

Federal funding to combat guns, gangs and opioid crisis

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said illicit drugs are often main cause of guns, gangs violence

INTERACTIVE MAP: Follow the 2017 Tour de Rock

Follow the Tour de Rock, as they pedal more than 1,000 kilometres fundraising to combat paediatric cancer

Most Read