February 6, 2019
NAIT’s footprint is growing to meet the current and future needs of Alberta. The polytechnic’s main campus will almost double in size with the purchase of two key parcels of land from the City of Edmonton.
NAIT has acquired 13.27 hectares (32.79 acres) on the Blatchford development site to the west of the main campus at Princess Elizabeth Avenue and 109 Street, along with an option to purchase a further 3.23 hectares (eight acres) to the southwest. NAIT has also purchased the city’s former Westwood Transit Garage to the north, for a total of about 21.5 hectares (53 acres). The purchased land is on the east side of the Blatchford community, near the future Metro Line LRT extension.
“This will be transformational for NAIT, for our students and for our city, serving our land needs well into the future,” said Dr. Glenn Feltham, NAIT President and CEO. “This will allow us to fulfill our vision and be part of one of the most progressive, vibrant and exciting communities in Canada.”
This is the first land sale announcement for the Blatchford community, which will be home to approximately 30,000 residents at full build. Revenue from this land sale will be invested into the Blatchford development. The first stage of residential housing will be along the west side of the community, Blatchford West, and is currently being sold to builders.
"This is a huge step forward for Blatchford, for NAIT, and for the City of Edmonton,” said Mayor Don Iveson. “With NAIT expanding and anchoring our Innovation Corridor at the east end of the new Blatchford neighbourhood, they can bring their expertise in academics and alternative energy to enhance student and resident experiences there."
The new land will allow the polytechnic to plan for future growth to meet the needs of students and industry partners for decades to come. A student residence is expected to be one of the first developments on NAIT’s Blatchford land. A skills centre is in the early planning stage for the Westwood land.
“Our government is proud to help develop the Blatchford area, which will make Edmonton an even better place to live,” said Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education, Government of Alberta. “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. This land deal will transform NAIT’s campus and the surrounding community for generations to come.”
NAIT’s long-term vision includes consolidating all programs at main campus except for those that require large open spaces, such as Crane and Hoisting, which will remain at the Spruce Grove campus.
A long-term plan to consolidate on main campus will significantly enhance students’ experience and allow NAIT to operate more efficiently while being an integral part of a vibrant, sustainable community.