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

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.

 

North Island College fires back at Councillor’s remarks

Just Posted

Eke Me-Xi students enjoy a field trip to Malcolm Island. (Submitted photos)
Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre takes field trip to Malcolm Island

Once at Bere Point, students made themselves at home in the day-use area

Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair logo
Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair cancelled again due to COVID-19 restrictions

The 2022 fall fair is still scheduled to take place in Port Hardy

North Island Gazette
EDITORIAL: What to do about homelessness in Port Hardy

‘people suffering from homelessness deserve to be treated with dignity and compassion’

North Island Eagles logo
North Island Eagles give update on the upcoming 2021-2022 season

The North Island Eagles minor rep hockey teams are getting ready for… Continue reading

Ma Murrays 2021 virtual ceremony screenshot
North Island Gazette wins big at 2021 Ma Murray Newspaper Awards

Zoe Ducklow and Bill McQuarrie both won gold at the online ceremony

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Wild rabbits are all over Chilliwack, but people often think they’re someone’s lost pet and try to ‘save’ them. But the owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room says good intentions can have bad consequences for wild animals. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room asks people to leave wild animals in the wild

Amber Quiring says people who think they’re helping are actually doing more harm than good

Photos displayed at a vigil for former Nanaimo outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found June 3 and whose death RCMP are investigating as a homicide. (News Bulletin photo)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

Premier of Manitoba Brian Pallister speaks at a news conference at the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Lipnowski
Provincial leaders want more federal money for health care, plan to meet in fall

Premiers ask Ottawa to increase its share of overall health spending to 35 per cent from 22 per cent

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

Most Read