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Providence to break ground on new Living & Learning Centre

Sep 29, 2018 | Institution / General, News

Providence will celebrate the ground-breaking of a new residence and community life facility at the Otterburne, MB campus on Tuesday, September 18.

The Hon. Kelvin Goertzen, Minister of Education and Training, will be on hand to help mark the ceremonial commencement of construction. He’ll join Dr. David Johnson, Providence President; Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht, Providence Board Chair; Don Streuber, Executive Chairman of Bison Transport and head of the IMPACT 2020 Campaign Committee, and other politicians and business leaders at the event, which will begin at 11:00 a.m.

Set to open in September 2019, the Living & Learning Centre will promote a thriving, Christ-centred student community within a bright, inviting, home-like atmosphere. To be located west of Eichhorst Hall and directly south of the Reimer Student Life Centre, which houses the cafeteria, the three-story, fully-accessible facility will accommodate 112 students.

Below the male and female residences on the second and third floors, the ground floor will contain staff apartments and community spaces such as a kitchen, a lounge, prayer rooms, a seminar hub and a laundry facility.

Additionally, explains Marlin Reimer, Vice-President of Student Life, the Living & Learning Centre will be a welcoming space for international students, including structures that allow them to connect with the broader Providence community, with one another and with relatives.

“Some of these structures include Skype Rooms where students can connect with family and friends back home in a more private setting,” he says. “Also, there will be a large community kitchen that will allow students to cook food together with their friends.”

Acknowledging that learning happens both inside and outside the classroom, Providence has purposed the Living & Learning Centre to be part of the holistic education experience provided at the institution.

“It’s a building designed for intentional community,” points out Darcy Friesen, Community Life Coordinator. “A thoughtfully-designed residence building is critical in developing a fun and thriving Christ-centred learning community. Our campus Living & Learning program is focused on ensuring students are cared for and on providing spaces and people that are critical to student living and thriving. We are extremely excited for students to enjoy the new space.”

A new Providence residence became necessary after the Bergen Hall dormitory was destroyed by fire in June 2017. Shortly thereafter a committee was struck to guide the process for a new, state-of-the-art facility, and in January 2018 the Board of Governors unanimously approved a $4 million increase to the IMPACT 2020 fundraising campaign (the goal is now $16.5 million, of which more than $12.2 million has been raised), providing the opportunity for constituency support of the Living & Learning Centre project.

Pico Architecture, Grant Design Group and Three Way Builders have been retained for the design and construction of the facility.

“I am excited about the ground-breaking on September 18,” says Dr. Johnson. “The Living & Learning Centre will support our five core values: Christ First, Academic Excellence, Exploration, Diversity of Thought and Community. We have explored all sorts of models of student life. The Living & Learning Centre will facilitate a student development program that is unique in Manitoba. It will help us achieve our mission by helping students grow in knowledge and character for leadership and service.”

Providence students, faculty and staff and interested members of the general community are welcome to attend this event. Refreshments will be provided.

(With reporting from Naaman Sturrup and Libby Giesbrecht.)