• Reporter Elaina John

Vermilion Lakeland College Mead Building Update


W.H.T.Mead Building during demolition. Photo Lorna Hamilton

On August 6, 2020, Premier Jason Kenney along with Minister of Education Demetrios Nicolaides paid a visit to Lakeland College to announce an investment in the college of $17.3 million under the Accelerated Capital Maintenance Renewal Program.

The funds went towards a large upgrade of the college’s WHT Mead Animal Science Centre. The building is utilized by upwards of 550 agricultural sciences students, as well as hundreds of students in environmental sciences and human services programs. The original Mead building was designed for 25 student classrooms and the college is designing a vast enlargement of the space to have 250 person, 80 person, and 60 person classrooms. The update will also include study and lounging areas and provide office space for faculty.

“We are still finalizing some of the design,” said Director of Facilities and Infrastructure, Dale Milne, “to complete it in one winter session, we are working simultaneously with demolition and design.”

Since many faculty members used the Mead building, the college has had to adjust into using other spaces. According to Milne, the college is looking into bringing in portable classrooms for the winter semester to better accommodate the students and construction simultaneously.

Two-thirds of the building has entered a full demolition stage which will be replaced with new construction, while the other third will be renovated.

“We have had tremendous support within the college community,” Milne said, “We’re excited about the design and we’re excited about what we’ll have when it’s all said and done.”

The Mead building was named after William H.T. Mead, who graduated from Lakeland College in 1927. Mead pioneered research in artificial insemination and helped establish the University of Alberta Research Ranch in Kinsella. Mead received the Distinguished Agrology Award in 1978 and was inducted into the Alberta Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1989.

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