Centennial College marked the opening of the first phase of its bold Ashtonbee Campus Renewal Project with a special ceremony on April 1 attended by about 100 guests and students. Centennial graduate and Toronto automobile dealer Ken Shaw Jr. provided the opening remarks, along with Centennial College President Ann Buller.
The 40,500-square-foot Library building, which is the signature piece in the rejuvenation of Centennial’s oldest campus, forms the new gateway to the college property, which is located near Eglinton Ave. East and Warden Ave. The trestle-inspired building centralizes registration and other student services on the ground level, and accommodates a contemporary library on the second floor.
In addition to the gateway building, the original campus gym gained a naturally lit second level to make room for weight training, exercise studios and related amenities. The two-storey gym opened last fall, and the library building opened in January of this year.
Significantly, no government funding was required to support the $40.6-million Phase I construction budget; the college is footing the bill out of its own revenues. The Centennial College Student Association has donated $4 million towards construction from its own budget.
The additions are welcome updates to Centennial’s sprawling campus, which dates back to 1969. Ashtonbee Campus is home to Centennial’s School of Transportation, the largest transportation technology training centre in Canada, as well as selected programs in community services, general arts and sciences, and English-language training.