By Marianne Curtis
Five years ago, the Eastman Education Center opened it’s doors, bringing an array of education opportunities to the region previously unavailable in one location. Since then, 4,500 students have come through the centre’s doors to take at least once course.
On April 7, in celebration of International Adult Learners’ Week (April 2-9) and five years of student learning and success at Eastman Education Centre hosted a celebratory event.
At the celebration, Eastman Education Centre Board Chair Clyde Loewen says the facility was built after several people in the community saw a need to combine a number of post secondary institutions into one facility.
“The first five years have been very interesting and exciting at times and also challenging,” Loewen says. “It has been interesting to watch so different education providers come together under one roof successfully and cooperatively.”
Eastman Education Centre created opportunities through education with partners including the Assiniboine Community College, Campus Manitoba, Providence College, Red River College, University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg.
“We hope to continue to see student numbers increase and our education providers continue to be successful,” Loewen added.
On behalf of the University of Winnipeg, President Lloyd Axworthy added that offering courses in Steinbach fit well the school’s philosophy of breaking down walls. The U of W has offered twenty courses over the years and plans to add three more in the next year.
“I’d like to see the day when the centre is actually being able to offer some courses for the rest of the province that are based upon the heritage, culture and religion of this area,” Axworthy told those in attendance.
The $3 million regional education campus along Loewen Boulevard in Steinbach opened five years ago and was a community venture from the beginning. The land on which it is located was donated by Mel Loewen. The 18,000 square foot Eastman Education Campus Building was part of an extensive project expected to meet the growing education needs of the region.
The Eastman Education Center is part of a fifty year vision of an entire campus that could house a residential college, a middle school for Hanover School division, division offices, a cultural center, park and campus comparable to Brandon University.
Provencher MP Vic Toews was on hand to celebrate Eastman Education Centres’ fifth anniversary.