News / Edmonton

NAIT residence waiting on Blatchford expansion talks

NAIT is among the largest if not the largest post-secondary in Canada without a student residence, according to a spokesperson.

NAIT's expansion onto the city centre airport lands would include multiple buildings, including a new residence.

Supplied

NAIT's expansion onto the city centre airport lands would include multiple buildings, including a new residence.

NAIT polytechnic is negotiating with the city over the school’s expansion into the new Blatchford neighbourhood, which it hopes will pave the way for a much-needed residence.

The school, which currently has no on campus housing, posted tenders for design work on a residence in 2014, but moving further ahead with the project will depend on determining how much of Blatchford can be set aside for NAIT’s expansion.

Blatchford’s executive director Mark Hall said getting a deal done on the expansion is top of his to do list.

“We’re meeting very regularly with NAIT and the province and all I can tell you about it is, it’s an active negotiation,” he said.

He said they have a good understanding of the high level details, but the city will be the developer on the project so it has to work out where roads will go and other issues.

NAIT spokesperson Frank Landry said getting a residence is very important to the school.

“NAIT is among the largest if not the largest post-secondary in Canada without a student residence. A student residence remains one of the polytechnics top priorities,” he said.

The original request for proposals the school issue was aimed at creating a 700-bed residence for approximately $49 million. Landry said beyond just the residence a future trade skills centre and other important projects could be part of the expanded campus.

“Obviously, the students residence is a top priority, but there are a lot of other opportunities there.”

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