Student Housing Added to NSCC in Springhill
As principal of the Cumberland Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College, Don McCormack can’t help but be exuberant with the announcement the provincial government is building new student housing at the Springhill campus.
McCormack says, “This is transformational news for our campus and for our students. This is a game-changer for us and it will secure our future in Springhill for the next 50 to 75 years at least.”
The MLA for Cumberland South, Tory Rushton, announced the province will add student housing to the local campus as part of a major expansion at NSCC facilities across the province.
Rushton said The Cumberland and Lunenburg campuses are expected to have about 40 beds each, Kingstec in Kentville will have about 90 beds and the Institute of Technology in Halifax will add about 100 beds.
Combined with three other projects already under construction, these projects bring the total number of new NSCC student housing spaces to 620.
The facilities will be built on government-owned land at or near existing facilities at each campus.
The principal said housing is a huge issue with students attending classes at all NSCC facilities and he’s seeing it at the Cumberland Campus. McCormack added, “As an example, we had three students coming from Halifax to take our plumbing program, but they had to withdraw after two days because they couldn’t find appropriate housing for them to stay here. That’s just one example in one program, but it’s a challenge faced by all our students in all our programs.”
McCormack also said the community college is looking forward to working with the provincial government and the Municipality of Cumberland to help stimulate the economy of Springhill and area. When the students leave the college each spring, the beds could made available to support events in the community during the summer months.
Cumberland Mayor Murray Scott says, “It’s phenomenal news for our county. I can’t stress enough the importance of this facility. It’s going to allow students to come here that don’t have access to vehicles to stay close to campus.”
The mayor added, “It’s going to create other beds in the community that people so desperately need and it’s going to ensure the future of the college because people will be able to participate in the programs and stay in the community.”
There are times in late spring and through the summer when the facility is vacant. Scott says, “We want to take full advantage of that and have it available to events at the community centre and throughout the area. We’ve been talking about this for years and it’s so good to see it’s going to finally happen.”
Rushton said they will begin working on the location of the housing unit within walking distance and he’s hoping construction will begin as soon as possible, saying, “We want to get shovels in the ground so we can get moving forward quickly.”
Springhill resident, Ryan Reynolds, said he’s confident it will enhance the Dr. Carson & Marion Murray Community Centre. The noted promoter says, “The potential for spinoffs is incredible. Everyone in the community is going to benefit from this whether it be businesses or sporting events.” Reynolds added, “People are come here, stay here and spend money here. There are economic spinoffs and there are development spinoffs for our youth sports. It’s what we need. Hopefully it will be a catalyst to get a lot more things going in Springhill.”
There are about 2,250 students currently enrolled at these four campuses.
The photo shows (L to R) Don McCormack with retired principal George Laird, Natural Resources Minister Tory Rushton, and Mayor Murray Scott in front of the Springhill college. Photo by Darrell Cole.
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