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It’s official: NAIT will expand campus on Blatchford lands

WATCH ABOVE: NAIT has found room to grow. The school and the city announced a deal Wednesday that will allow for expansion of the main campus. Vinesh Pratap reports.

On Wednesday, the City of Edmonton and NAIT confirmed the school’s 53-acre expansion to the Blatchford development on the old City Centre Airport lands.

The consolidation will see two satellite campus sites eventually move to the central Edmonton development. The purchase of two parcels of land from the city means the polytechnic’s main campus will almost double in size.

“We believe NAIT will be a welcome addition to this sustainable community,” Mayor Don Iveson said. “Actually, they’ll be a heck of an anchor tenant.”

READ MORE: NAIT receives $34.9M in federal funding for new centre

NAIT bought 32.8 acres on the west side and the city’s former Westwood Transit Garage to the north, with the option to purchase an additional eight acres to the southwest.

“This will be transformational for NAIT, for our students and for our city, serving our land needs well into the future,” NAIT President Glenn Feltham said.

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Officials would not divulge the purchase price of the land.

Global News reported on the deal back in October, but it was officially announced Wednesday.

READ MORE: Land swap leads to tentative city deal with NAIT to move on to Blatchford

The Blatchford development will eventually be home to 30,000 residents. The first stage of residential housing is currently being sold to builders.

The entire Blatchford community is 536 acres. The goal is for the area to be a sustainable community that uses 100 per cent renewable energy, is carbon neutral, significantly reduces its ecological footprint and supports sustainable lifestyles.

Revenue from the land sale will be reinvested back into the sustainable Blatchford development, which Iveson described as Edmonton’s version of Brooklyn.

A student residence is expected to be one of the first developments on the land.

NAIT is a “really positive catalyst” for the community, Iveson said.

The agreement to acquire land on the Blatchford development site means the post-secondary polytechnic institution will have room to grow. It will also provide options for future main campus expansion.

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READ MORE: 1st stage of residential housing at Blatchford development could be built next fall

“Construction projects and development like this lead to high-paying and good quality jobs for Albertans, while helping our colleges keep pace with growing demand and ensure that bright minds continue to flock to Edmonton for their education,” said Marlin Schmidt, Alberta’s minister of Advanced Education.

“This land deal will transform NAIT’s campus and the surrounding community for generations to come.”

NAIT and city of Edmonton announce land deal on Feb. 6, 2019.
NAIT and city of Edmonton announce land deal on Feb. 6, 2019. Courtesy: NAIT
NAIT and city of Edmonton announce land deal on Feb. 6, 2019.
NAIT and city of Edmonton announce land deal on Feb. 6, 2019. Courtesy: NAIT
NAIT and city of Edmonton announce land deal on Feb. 6, 2019.
NAIT and city of Edmonton announce land deal on Feb. 6, 2019. Courtesy: NAIT
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