TORONTO — School executives, government officials and corporate officials representing Centennial College hosted a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday to mark the construction of the school’s new Residence and Culinary Arts Centre at its Progress Campus in Toronto’s east end.
The event kicked off with a blessing given by a traditional teacher from the Aboriginal community, paying homage to Centennial’s culturally diverse student body and neighbourhood.
The $85-million, eight-storey facility will be home to the school’s new Culinary Arts Centre. It will be equipped with seven state-of-the-art kitchen labs, eight classrooms, a 70-seat teaching restaurant and a 20-seat grab-and-go café. Technology will be streamed throughout the building allowing a birds-eye view of the inner workings of the bustling kitchens and its guest chefs in action.
“Hospitality at Centennial College has a great history, and it now has a great future,” said Joe Baker, dean, School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts. “Our vision is to be the best school of hospitality, tourism and culinary arts we can be, focusing on preparing our graduates with both the leadership skills and the job skills they’ll need to be successful in the industry and to be successful in their lives.”
The new building will also provide accommodations to 740 students in two- and four-bedroom suites. The residence will replace the school’s existing 340-bed facility in a nearby retrofitted hotel. A convenience store, conference space for up to 425, cinema, yoga room, spaces to lounge, plus a courtyard will round out the offerings.
“It’s our belief that this residence and culinary arts centre will become the hub, a lively crossroads in the campus, a lively entry point to the campus and really engage students, international students and the whole Scarborough community,” said Donald Schmitt, co-founder and principal of Diamond Schmitt Architects in Toronto, whose firm will be working on the project.
Occupancy is slated for fall 2016, just before Centennial College marks its 50th anniversary.