A mild winter has helped contribute to steady construction progress for the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre, on the Welland campus of Niagara College.
Set to be operational by May 2016, the 15,000 square-foot facility will specialize in engineering design, 3D digital scanning technology, lean manufacturing processes and additive manufacturing.
The ground floor will include specialized labs with 3D printers, scanners and other equipment along with office space for student and staff scientists and researchers. It will also include flexible labs that can be used as incubation space for industry partners.
The top floor will house Niagara College Research & Innovation division offices and space for ncTakeOff, Niagara College’s entrepreneurship hub, and NC’s digital media and web solutions group, along with meeting and conference space.
Niagara College has long had the expertise and equipment to serve the advanced manufacturing sector, but until now has lacked a cohesive, dedicated space for applied research projects in this key sector, which accounts for more than 900 companies employing 21,000 people, and 16 per cent of Niagara Region’s GDP.
Construction began on the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre in March 2015 with a groundbreaking ceremony attended by Charles Sousa, Ontario’s finance minister.
The provincial government has invested $4.2 million toward the development of the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre.
The Walker family and its company, Walker Industries Holdings Limited, for whom the centre is named, contributed $1.2 million to the project – the largest corporate donation in Niagara College history.
The Centre has been constructed as an addition to the Rankin Technology building. During a recent media tour, visitors were invited to view the work in the current borrowed classroom space, and tour the new labs and offices on the north side of the Welland Campus.
Here are some video highlights from that media tour: