Students taking classes in one of the oldest buildings on campus at SAIT Polytechnic are enjoying new, state-of-the-art learning spaces this fall. The Thomas Riley building, originally opened in 1952, re-opened to students earlier this month with 162,000 square feet of renovated learning space for students.
Building on the success of the world-class Trades and Technology Complex which opened last fall, the classrooms and labs in the Thomas Riley building have been elevated to enhance the learning experience for students in the schools of Construction and Manufacturing and Automation. Updated spaces include a home lab that can accommodate the construction of two 1,200-square-foot homes simultaneously and a brand new millwright and natural gas compression lab.
“Students are our top priority and we wanted the new spaces in Thomas Riley to be designed to enhance the curriculum and ensure our students are highly trained for their current and future employers,” says Scott MacPherson, Dean of the School of Construction at SAIT Polytechnic. “The new Founding Builders Home Lab will allow us to build six houses a year with students — invaluable experience to take with them to their first job.”
The $60 million renovation has added 40 years to the life of the building and focused mainly on improving the student learning experience — classrooms, labs, and study space — and giving it the same interior look and feel as the other new buildings on campus.
A new atrium space for students to gather and study has also opened. The inviting space features large wooden beams known as “glue-lam” — layers of dimensional lumber laminated together to create beams and columns that are stronger and more dimensionally stable then traditional heavy timber construction materials.
“These beams not only complement the materials used in the Trades and Technology Complex, but they were selected with learning in mind,” says Boris Dragicevic, Associate Vice President of Facilities Management and Campus Expansion. “Construction students can look up in the atrium and see the materials they will be working with on projects both in class and later in industry.”
Landscaping around the Thomas Riley building also creates a primary pedestrian corridor to allow students, staff and visitors a clear north/south passage through campus from 16th Avenue.
With the opening of the Trades and Technology Complex last fall and the newly renovated Thomas Riley building, SAIT Polytechnic has also been able to welcome back students and staff based out of the Bob Edwards building in north east Calgary.
About SAIT Polytechnic
SAIT Polytechnic is one of Canada’s most exciting destinations for post-secondary education, offering more than 100 career programs and over 1,000 part-time courses (including online and distance) that position people for success in technology, trades and business. A leader in innovation, SAIT also collaborates with industry on applied research and delivers corporate training worldwide. SAIT has been named one of Alberta’s Top 60 Employers for 2013 and the 2013 Best Alberta Workplace for Training and Development. www.sait.ca