Campus Growth and Development
Planning for NAIT began in the late 1950s as part of a joint federal-provincial initiative. NAIT has expanded steadily since then to meet the demand for educated, skilled and successful workers. Highlights of NAIT’s growth include:
- 21-acre site purchased near city centre.
- Campus construction begins in January.
- On October 1, the first class of 29 electrician apprentices begin training four months before the Apprenticeship Division is supposed to open.
- On May 27, Premier Ernest Manning officially opens the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. The new institute has:
- 53 shops
- 39 labs
- 77 classrooms
- 109 offices
- 155 service areas (including the cafeteria, library and gym)
- NAIT’s first full-time students begin classes in September.
- NAIT expands beyond the original campus with the construction of an outdoor track and two other buildings.
- NAIT grows again as construction begins on a 55,000-square-foot addition.
- Construction begins on the new Activities Centre.
- Leased Patricia Building in northwest Edmonton opens to house 400 students.
- A number of land purchases are made to further expand campus. These expansions begin to open in 1977.
- NAIT’s first mobile classroom (a trailer) provides training in carpenter and wood trades.
- Another expansion houses NAIT’s health sciences programs.
- Patricia Campus purchased.
- NAIT opens one of the first Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) labs.
- Property next to Main Campus is purchased for planned campus expansion.
- Partners in Tomorrow, NAIT’s first capital fundraising campaign, reaches its goal of $4.5 million.
- South Learning Centre officially opens.
- Campus Reads and Needs store officially opens, becoming NAIT’s first permanent bookstore.
- State-of-the-art multimedia lab and theatre officially open. David Frum gives the first public lecture in the new Shaw Theatre.
- Alberta Chamber of Commerce opens an office on NAIT Main Campus.
- Patricia Campus expands.
- NAIT’s new Souch Campus opens on Edmonton’s south side. The campus is named in honour of Dr. Stan G. Souch, who served an 18-year term as NAIT’s fourth president.
- Videoconferencing capability links NAIT campuses with each other and the world.
- The $1.8-million IPSCO Centre for Welding Technology officially opens at Souch Campus. The addition features a 30-station multi-process lab, classroom and student lounge and offers training designed for self-paced learning.
- Construction begins on the new Information and Communications Technology Centre.
- NAIT opens an office in downtown Calgary to serve more than 6,000 alumni in southern Alberta, communicate with prospective students and increase opportunities for business and industry liaison.
- Official opening of the Centre for Chemical Studies, a renovation and upgrading of 11 laboratories used by more than 1,600 chemistry students each year.
- Official opening of the $50-million NAIT-HP Centre for Information and Communications Technology.
- The NAIT Campaign: Opening Doors successfully concludes with a total of $24 million raised — $10 million over target, with $3.8 million raised for scholarships and student awards.
- NAIT and Fairview College announce a partnership to increase the number and diversity of programs offered to post-secondary students in northwestern Alberta.
- NAIT launches a $4-million Aboriginal Student Success Initiative, which includes creation of an Aboriginal Student Centre on Main Campus and two mobile classrooms to deliver NAIT trades training to remote communities.
- Fairview College and NAIT become one organization as NAIT assumes responsibility for the administration of campuses in High Level, La Crete, Peace River, Fairview, Grande Prairie and St. Albert.
Responsibility for the northwest campuses was transferred to Grande Prairie Regional College in July 2009.
- The Duncan McNeill Centre for Innovation (DMCI) opens. DMCI provides business incubation and development services to help entrepreneurial start-ups become high-growth companies.
- The $15.5-million Waiward Centre for Steel Technologies, a state-of-the-art training facility for welders, ironworkers, boilermakers, structural steel fitters and platefitters is officially opened on Souch Campus.
- Official opening of the new $40-million NAIT Petro Canada Centre for Millwright Technology and NAIT Spartan Centre for Instrumentation Technology.
- Official opening of the NAIT Shell Manufacturing Centre, a $14.6-million one-stop shop for leading manufacturing technology education and service.
- Official opening of NAIT’s Sandvik Coromant Centre for Machinist Technology. The updated facility will increase machinist apprenticeship training capacity by 50%.
- NAIT exceeds its $50-million Building on Demand fundraising goal by $30 million.
- NAIT puts a focus on applied research with the opening of novaNAIT, which now includes the Duncan McNeill Centre for Innovation. The centre provides applied research, business development and technology transfer services to industry, entrepreneurs and NAIT staff and students.
- NAIT Calgary starts offering training in areas including Information Technology, Project Management and Leadership.
- NAIT Gateway Mechanical Services Centre for Building Environment Technology officially opens. The centre allows NAIT to increase capacity for Building Environment programs more than 95% over historical capacity.