15:50 PM

Media release: Mohawk Learning Exchange officially opens


New spaces for students to learn, create and collaborate at Mohawk College                                    

February 24, 2011

HAMILTON – Mohawk College officially opened the new Mohawk Learning Exchange at the2011 Febuary 24 opening Mohawk Learning Exchange   Fennell Campus this afternoon.

Joining Mohawk President Rob MacIsaac in the official opening of the Mohawk Learning Exchange were the Hon. John Milloy, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, the Hon. Sophia Aggelonitis, Minister of Revenue, Member of Provincial Parliament Ted McMeekin, Mayor Bob Bratina, Ward 8 Councillor Terry Whitehead, Mohawk Students’ Association President Kat Cullen and Mohawk College Association of Continuing Education Students Association President Amanda Tallon.

Serving more than a thousand students a day, the Mohawk Learning Exchange is home to the new Harold Cummings Library and Collaboratory, the iDeaWorks applied research and innovation laboratory and five active learning classrooms featuring the latest in collaborative learning technology.

Completed on time, on budget and accident-free, the $16.5 million Mohawk Learning Exchange is part of the Fennell Campus renewal project, the largest construction and renovation project in Mohawk’s history. Construction on the 40,000 square foot building began in August 2009 and was completed 17 months later in December 2010.  

“Ontario is committed to investing in the knowledge and skills our province needs to thrive in the global economy,” said John Milloy, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. “Our investment in Mohawk’s modernized and expanded Fennell Campus will help provide new opportunities for students in Hamilton for generations to come.”

“The Ontario government has stepped up in a big way for our students, our college and the communities we serve,” MacIsaac said in recognizing the province’s $20 million investment in the Fennell Campus renewal project. MacIsaac also paid tribute to the late Harold Cummings, a long-time West Mountain resident and college neighbor who donated $4 million to build a new library at Mohawk. “With the largest private donation in Mohawk’s history, Mr. Cummings has given generations of students a remarkable new space to learn, collaborate and create.”

The Mohawk Learning Exchange is one of the region’s most environmentally sustainable buildings. Built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification standards, the building features a two-storey indoor living green wall, radiant floor heating, a green roof, wind turbines and solar panels. Energy costs will be 40 per cent lower than a traditional building of comparable size.  The building has approximately 75 per cent usable space for students and staff, nearly double the industry standard for educational facilities. Along with an outdoor terrace on the third storey, new green space was created next to the Mohawk Learning Exchange, including an outdoor amphitheatre.

Creating a sustainable building was a consistent theme during consultations with more than 2,000 students. Through focus groups, lunch and learn sessions and surveys, students were actively involved during the design phase.  The entire building and its heating, cooling and electrical systems now serve as a “living lab” for students in Mohawk technology programs.

Along with construction of the Mohawk Learning Exchange, the cafeteria, common areas and a wing of the campus housing the School of Community & Urban Studies were also renovated to meet student needs. Work has begun to turn the former library into a future centre for student services, consolidating services currently offered at 17 locations on campus.  The Fennell Campus renewal project follows a $27 million transformation of Mohawk’s skilled trades campus in Stoney Creek.

With a vision to be internationally renowned for its innovation culture and highly skilled future ready graduates who will drive tomorrow’s opportunities, Mohawk College trains 15,00 full-time and apprenticeship students and 42,000 continuing education registrants, with an 85 per cent graduate employment rate and 95 per cent employer satisfaction rate. The majority of Mohawk’s 85,000 alumni continue to work and live in the Greater Hamilton region.