New health sciences centre breaks ground at BCIT

HEALTH-CARE students at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) are one step closer to simulating real-life health care situations in an innovative and flexible space with the official groundbreaking of a new health sciences centre.

The centre will provide the simulated health-care environments that are a critical component of health-sciences education.

“This new state-of-the-art building is going to be a game changer for health-care students at BCIT,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, on Tuesday. “It will be more than just a building. It will be the training grounds for the next generation of highly-trained health specialists. It was designed with students and the environment in mind and fits squarely within our government’s CleanBC plan.”

The new health sciences centre will replace existing simulation space and will replicate the work environments for a variety of hospitals and laboratories. This centre will enable students to learn in an innovative, cohesive space that improves their quality of education.

“Health-care professionals do a fantastic job every day at saving lives and helping people be healthier,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “The innovative Health Sciences Centre for Advanced Simulation at BCIT will have more realistic work scenarios that will give students the skills and experience they need to deliver quality care to their patients once they graduate.”

The new centre will be a four-storey, 9,909 square-metre (106,660 square-feet), net-zero carbon emission building – supporting government’s CleanBC objectives of reducing commercial carbon footprints. The centre will accommodate and provide learning spaces to approximately 7,000 students, including part- and full-time students.

“Our government is investing in cutting-edge 21st-century facilities like this so that students can develop the skills they need for rewarding, in-demand jobs in the health-care sector,” said Janet Routledge, MLA for Burnaby North. “By enhancing training for health-care professionals, we are delivering quality services that British Columbians count on.”

The Province is providing $66.6 million of the $78.3 million required to build the centre. Construction will help create 270 direct and 175 indirect jobs. Completion is expected by the end of 2021.

CleanBC is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and supports a commitment in the Confidence and Supply Agreement to implement climate action to meet B.C.’s targets.

Kathy Kinloch, President, BCIT, said: “The new BCIT health sciences centre is a bold declaration of our ongoing commitment to training the professionals that support British Columbia’s vital health-care sector. Opening in 2021, this innovative teaching and learning space will embody our unique learning model by empowering people and shaping B.C. through applied education. The centre will be one of the largest buildings of its kind in Canada, featuring innovative simulation labs equipped with the latest virtual and augmented reality technology.”

Quick Facts:

* The new facility will house a number of health-sciences programs, including cardiology, sonography, nursing, pediatric and nuclear medicine.

* Health-care professions are among the highest in demand in B.C., with more than 82,000 job openings expected by 2028.

* The new centre will be a net-zero carbon emission building, with 60 underground parking stalls – all of which will be wired for electric-vehicle charging stations.

* The building is targeting WELL Gold certification. WELL is a complementary rating system, and portions of the WELL Standard align with LEED requirements.