BIG NEWS- Red Deer College officials announced the move of the Donald School of Business fro the main campus to the Millennium Centre downtown during a formal announcement Tuesday.

RDC business school heading downtown

Red Deer College’s Donald School of Business is relocating from the main campus to the heart of downtown – the Millennium Centre.

“The announcement today is to let folks know Red Deer College means business. We’ll be expanding programs, opportunities for learners, international experiences, co-op experiences, new programming, access to degrees. And certainly the facility will also be available to the community to use,” said Joel Ward, Red Deer College president.

The College will be leasing two and one-half floors of the Millennium Centre. Renovations are set to begin by December and completed by September of 2011. The lease agreement extends for 10 years.

More than 36,000 square feet will house classrooms, computer labs, learning common areas and offices.

“I think it’s a great announcement for Red Deer, a great announcement for Red Deer College and for Central Alberta.” Ward said it’s also great news for the downtown, with the influx of about 700 students to the downtown on a daily basis when classes start next fall.

Ward said the best locations for business schools are in the downtown of a community. “It enables our students to spend time with folks right in downtown Red Deer – the banks, stockbrokers and legal firms will all be able to come into our facility to meet our students,” he said.

Lunch and Learn and Just After Business seminars are examples of where local business people can join RDC staff and students downtown to take check out a variety of speakers, said Ward.

Mayor Morris Flewwelling is thrilled with the announcement.

“Redevelopment of the downtown core is a priority for our City and this new campus of RDC will add a vibrancy to downtown and spur others to consider it as a great spot to locate a business,” he said. “When he first shared the concept with me, I thought this is a dream. The focus of this past council has been the creation of the Greater Downtown Action plan.

“To see the renewal of the downtown is really delightful.”

In October of 2007, RDC announced the naming of the College’s first school in recognition of local entrepreneurs Jack and Joan Donald.

“We are grateful for the support the Donald’s have provided to RDC over the years to ensure the success of our future students,” said Ward. “Through the entrepreneur-in-residence program we’re establishing with this School, the Donalds will continue to support our students by sharing their great wealth of knowledge and experience, helping to shape our region in yet another vibrant way.”

Joanne Packham, dean of business and human services at RDC, said the opportunities for students are endless in the new environment.

“We are excited to offer our students a dynamic new environment downtown in which they can concentrate on team-based projects and gain hands-on knowledge from business leaders in our community through work experience and other mentorship.”

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