The hallowed halls of SAIT Polytechnic’s Trades and Technology buildings are no longer wood or tile, worn into tiredness by decades of students’ boots.
Instead, they consist of brand-new halls made of polished Alberta aggregate concrete floors.
Just as shiny are the futures of the students.
Karla Mayfield, 32, is a second-year student in civil engineering technology. She has worked for six years for her family’s renovation company.
“I originally wanted to be a civil engineer, but now in Alberta, if technologists show excellence in their field and meet a criteria, you can earn your civil engineering stamp. That is my long-term goal,” says Mayfield.
She can continue to be employed and earn an income while working toward qualifying as a civil engineer, rather than take more time off work to go to school.
“It feels like we’re hugely supported. The facilities are amazing,” says Mayfield, adding that the learning experience is hands-on. “In the labs, there’s space for everybody to see (what is being taught) — no one is stuck at the back.”
Lauren Fehr, 25, is a second-year student in architectural technologies who gained experience working in the planning and design office at SAIT for the summer.
She hopes to start her career as an architectural technologist in homebuilding to gain expertise in detail- and client-oriented work, eventually moving on to larger commercial buildings.
“I feel honoured to be part of SAIT and be so supported by the building industry, and have donors who are donating such large amounts to our futures,” says Fehr. “It’s incredible — and they’re beautiful buildings.”
With the new buildings, “it’s easier to respect the trades because where you’re learning is so great,” says Mayfield. “It’s not somewhere grungy and dirty.”