Province unveils $3M addition at Garden City Collegiate

The province formally announced the opening of a 650-square-metre addition dedicated to shops classes at a Winnipeg high school on Tuesday.

650-square-metre addition will serve 1,500 students at Winnipeg high school and nearby middle schools

Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart stands with students in a new addition to Garden City Collegiate on Tuesday. (CBC)

The province formally unveiled a 650-square-metre addition dedicated to shops classes at a Winnipeg high school on Tuesday.

The $3.1-million project at Garden City Collegiate will be home to a new building trades program at the school, which will offer college-level trades courses and apprenticeship opportunities, the province said in a news release.

Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart said there's an appetite among students at the school to pursue careers in the trades.

"We know as a province and as a government that over the next 10 years or so, we have about 170,000 people in that industry that need to be replaced," Wishart said.

"They're mostly baby boomers that are retiring. There's going to be growth in the industry, so that's a bit of a challenge for us. So we clearly have a lot of students to train."

The addition serves roughly 1,500 students at Garden City in addition to more than 800 students from nearby middle schools in the Seven Oaks School Division, the province said.

Provincal funding also covered renovations to 370 square metres of existing shop space to focus on heating, ventilation and air conditioning programs, as well as electrical and introduction to building trades classes.

The addition and renovations to an existing space cost the province $3.1 million. (CBC)

"They had some facilities before, but it's great to upgrade this to the state-of-the art so that they can come out of here, really, and go right into the workplace if they choose to do that, or it's an absolute leap to go into the apprenticeship system," Wishart said.

Earlier this year, the province axed a $6.7-million, 1,600-square-metre gym at Kelvin High School promised to the school by the former NDP government in 2014, as well as a sports field rehabilitation project that was slated for Dakota Collegiate.

That announcement was followed by a provincial funding commitment of $4.5 million to build a new gym at W.C. Miller Collegiate in Altona, Man.