College Expansion to Compliment Energy Centre Plans

Portage College Cold Lake campus expansion fits into the long-term plans for the facility.

“It’s going to compliment [the Energy Centre] really well,” Mayor of Cold Lake, Craig Copeland says there have been talks of expanding the Portage College for quite some time, “we’ve been in discussions with Portage for several months. We have known that the courses are full and they’re running out of space.” The mayor says that it was no surprise an expansion was needed; but quite the delight to hear of the Provincial Government’s $1.1 million funding announcement this week.”Students are holding study sessions in empty stairwells,” Copeland slyly laughs that more space is greatly needed.

“What will happen with this money from the Province, is we will partner up with [Portage College] at looking at what they need to expand and looking at the rest of the Energy Centre footprint,” the planning will be a collaborative effort, says the mayor. “The City has some long-term plans. We’re building the second arena and we also know we have to deal with gymnastics and dance with possibly another field house.” Copeland says the Lakeland Catholic School District (LCSD) has also requested land to eventually build a new high school at the Energy Centre. “It’ll be a busy little place.”

We’re excited! It’s going to be great for the Lakeland area! – Craig Copeland Mayor City of Cold Lake

The college has some specific needs that’ll all be addressed in the planning and development stages. The mayor assures that Portage College’s expansion plans will not offset the timeline on the second arena, or any other development plans. “The arena is a stand-alone project; everything will be fine.”

There is no specific timeline for construction on the college yet, Copeland is optimistic, “what you hope for is that you can get the design done quickly, because you want to be in front of the Government for capital funding for next year. It’s a short window.” Adding that he’s pleased with the Alberta Government recognizing the growth in the area, “it’s exciting that the Government is seeing a need in our community to expand Portage College’s ability to teach more students in our area. We’re excited! It’s going to be great for the Lakeland area.”