Georgian College’s Owen Sound Campus and the entire Grey-Bruce region are set to become the marine training centre of excellence in Ontario, following a major funding announcement by the federal and provincial governments in Owen Sound on June 23.
Bruce-Grey-Simcoe MP Larry Miller and Ann Hoggarth, MPP Barrie, announced that the federal and provincial governments will each contribute $1,960,259 towards this important project through the Small Communities Fund. This funding, together with $2 million pledged previously by Grey County council and anticipated donations from the marine industry, means that Georgian College will be able to proceed with the much-needed centre.
The 13,600-square-foot centre, to be built at the Owen Sound Campus, will provide facilities for required introductory and advanced Marine Emergency Duties courses in firefighting, survival craft, life raft and immersion suit training, as well as first aid. This training is mandatory for everyone who works aboard ships and must be renewed every five years.
The centre will be used by students (cadets) in Georgian’s marine programs (Marine Technology Navigation, Marine Engineering Technician and Marine Engineering Management) as well as men and women currently working on board ships.
Construction of the centre will also enhance Georgian College’s capacity for collaborative applied research within and beyond the marine industry.
“With this announcement, Georgian and this entire region will become the marine training centre of excellence for Ontario,” said Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes, Georgian College President and CEO. “We thank the federal and provincial governments for their support. This is good news for students, working mariners, the marine industry and the local economy – it is a very smart investment.”
Having the MED Centre in Owen Sound means Georgian cadets and industry employees will no longer have to travel out of the province for training, and Georgian can continue to build on and deliver its widely recognized marine programs.
It is estimated visits by marine personnel could generate a substantial $5 million in spending in Owen Sound and the surrounding area each year.
Construction has already begun on the fire centre portion of the MED project. This consists of a concrete slab with shipping containers, ladders, horizontal manholes to simulate environment of a ship. Propane or natural gas provides flames and smoke.
The major portion of the MED Centre will include classrooms, a freefall lifeboat simulator, administration officer, common area, change rooms, washrooms, showers, equipment room, storage and parking.