Durham College President Don Lovisa and Ann Buller, president and CEO, Centennial College, were joined by Tracy MacCharles, MPP (Pickering-Scarborough East); Dave Ryan, mayor, City of Pickering; and government and community partners on November 13 as they celebrated the grand opening of the joint Pickering Learning Site (PLS).
The PLS, which officially opened its doors in September 2012 and is the first public post-secondary presence in Pickering’s 200-year history, is designed to meet the needs of students looking to further their credentials in an environment focused on mature, professional learners.
“I am extremely pleased to continue this partnership with the City of Pickering and Centennial College in the operation of this joint learning centre,” said Lovisa. “This wonderful facility reflects our commitment to providing high-demand programs and is already providing exciting, unique and convenient educational opportunities to current students and will continue to do so for future students in Pickering and across the Greater Toronto Area.”
The grand opening event, which featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony, provided attendees with an opportunity to learn more about the unique learning environment offered by the Centre including tours of the facility.
“We’re delighted to be working together with Durham College to bring accessible post-secondary education to our neighbours in the community of Pickering,” said Buller. “This is a ready-made facility for commuters who want to further their education while remaining close to home. It’s a facility conducive to learning and one that will open doors to new career opportunities for local residents.”
Pickering was chosen to be the home of Durham Region’s newest post-secondary learning environment because of the economic potential for both Toronto and the Durham Region. It also provides direct access to major highways, strong infrastructure and supportive governments.
“This is a legacy achievement that will bring jobs, innovation and skills training to the City of Pickering,” said MacCharles. “This facility showcases why Pickering is the fastest growing city in the GTA and I’m proud to be part of this important event today.”
The 9,000-square-foot, two-storey building, which can accommodate approximately 300 students, offers graduate certificate and continuing education programs from each college including Durham College’s one-year Addictions and Mental Health; Human Resources Management; Victimology; and Youth Corrections and Interventions graduate certificate programs and Centennial College’s Corporate Communications and Public Relations graduate certificate program.
In addition it offers a flexible learning environment that includes continuing education courses in the evenings and on weekends and several workshops to better serve students.
“With its location at the north end of our landmark pedestrian bridge, the Pickering Learning Site represents a unique fusion of education and infrastructure,” said Ryan. “I thank both Durham College and Centennial College for providing our residents, as well as students from across the GTA, with the opportunity to enhance their education and gain valuable job skills for today’s marketplace.”
Featuring four classrooms, a computer lab, student space and faculty offices, the PLS is conveniently located just north of Highway 401 off Liverpool Road, with direct access to GO Train services and other public transit.
For more information, please visit the Pickering Learning Site website.