On October 2, Durham College (DC) hosted more than 200 guests for the grand opening of the Centre for Collaborative Education (CFCE). Located at the college’s Oshawa campus, the multi-level, 75,000-square-foot facility is home to signature learning spaces, including the 360insights Entrepreneurship Centre, Global Classroom, First Peoples Indigenous Centre and Durham College Spa, which is open to the public.
“The Centre for Collaborative Education prioritizes the student experience in all aspects of its design and function,” said Don Lovisa, president, DC. “When students told us they wanted more collaborative learning and social spaces, we listened. There are very few offices in the CFCE. Instead, it holds industry-grade, cutting-edge labs, entrepreneurial and maker spaces, touchdown spaces and inclusive learning environments all focused on ensuring the student experience comes first.”
The milestone grand opening event featured demonstrations and tours of the new building; a traditional Indigenous ceremony performed by Troy White of the Mi’kmaq First Nation; official ribbon cutting; unveiling of the donor wall and installation of a time capsule that is intended to be opened in 2067, DC’s 100th year.
“This incredible building is the result of tremendous support from many areas – provincial, federal and local governments – as well as many donors who came together to support our Building Something Amazing campaign,” said Linda Flynn, associate vice-president, Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, DC, and president, Durham College Foundation. “The grand opening event is an opportunity for DC to celebrate our success while thanking everyone who helped us achieve it.”
DC launched the Building Something Amazing capital campaign in September 2017 to raise $5 million towards the CFCE’s total build cost of $40 million. With 95% of the goal achieved, you can still be part of this college milestone. The additional $35 million in funding is comprised of $22 million from the Ontario government and $13 million from the federal government, which when combined mark the largest single-project investment by government in the college’s history.
The CFCE is legacy project tied to the college’s 50th anniversary in 2017 and replaces the aging Simcoe building, which was originally built as a temporary structure and opened in 1969. In addition to addressing student needs, the CFCE is designed to reflect DC’s commitment to working with local business and community partners by creating a new facility where students, employees and the broader community can work together in ways that transcend the traditional concepts of education.
“It is no coincidence that DC includes collaboration among our core values,” added Lovisa. “It is only by working together, listening to each other and seeking to better understand one another that we will achieve the breakthroughs – professional, technological, social or otherwise – that will propel us forward locally and globally. This is what we seek to inspire and support with the CFCE.”