The Amazing Confederation College SUCCI Wellness Centre,
by Scott A. Sumner
Confederation College has seen some excellent growth in recent years.The 50 year old institution has opened the new REACH building, new residences for students, has an elaborate Tech Hub under
construction and has just opened a beautiful new wellness centre that will be the leader in this area in Thunder Bay. I had a personal tour of the new facility, which is now open, during their recent 50th
Anniversary celebration weekend with President Jim Madder!
“ The Wellness Centre opened as we transfered out activities across from the old facility, the Bubble and Neebing structures. The official opening will be at the end of October or early November. It is exciting
to see people walking around here in the new Wellness Centre today going wow. Isn't this cool.” smiled Jim Madder.
The new SUCCI Wellness Centre, Minowaadiziiwin facility is 37,000 square feet in size on two levels with a large gymnasium on the first floor adjacent to the exercise equipment rooms. The second floor
includes a track opening on to the gym below. The whole building has large floor to ceiling windows and is located in a pristine setting with trees at Confederation College.
“ Michelle Gibson of FORM Architecture did an amazing job with the design and the Tom Jones team did an amazing job in executing the design. We have wood across as beams with a huge wooden floor so wood is a theme in what we are doing,” said Jim Madder. “ It is great to see this equipment here today. Once the equipment was shown on our facebook page the number of hits went to hundreds per day to see the new equipment. All the equipment is new, about 99 % overall.”
The SUCCI Student Union was a key player in making this new facility happen providing $8.5 million dollars to the project. NOHFC brought forward $2 million and Confederation College put up $3 million to
complete the project. It replaces the Neebing Building and the Bubble and provides new opportunities for the students.
“ The Neebing and Bubble have been great but they are past their time. We tried to look at renovating what we had but the short answer was it couldn’t be done. We started fresh. Our idea going back several years was to build a new student village. Now we have new student accommodation buildings- 2 of 64 beds buildings apartment style. People are loving them and they are all full. The third part is food
with Ryan Hall. You can live well here in a three minute walk. In 25 years the students will pay out their portion of the project which is paid for by adding a fee to their tuition fees.” said Madder
The Confederation College SUCCI Wellness Centre, Minowaadiziiwin building will be vibrant from 6 am to late evening. The city partnered with Confederation College for the new biking trails adjacent, so the
outside area will be active as well. The entire campus will be alive!
“ We are building new buildings here at Confederation College, but it is not about what our buildings will do, but what our faculty, staff and students can do in the buildings. The buildings become a platform
for creativity and innovation.” said Madder.
Also currently under construction at Confederation College is their new Technology Hub building going up across the River. It will be open next September. It is all about what the buildings will do to support
our learners and staff according to President Jim Madder.
Confederation College is attracting more international students than ever before.
“ We have more international students, over 700 this semester. When I came here we had 60, so that was 7 years ago. More indigenous students are attending which is great to see. We will have more than 4400 full time post secondary students and about 10% of that number part time as well. Our students number 7400 in total in all campuses.”
The previous Bubble and Neebing fitness buildings have been leased for 3 years.
“ I have to say the Board of Governors thought a lot about doing the leases, because as you see just beyond that you can see the residences. The Bubble affects the access, so in the years ahead they will be gone. The building and bubble are well past their prime and the operating costs are incredibly high compared to the new building. The goal was to help the soccer community in the interim.”
Be sure to visit the Wellness Centre at Confederation College!